Signs of Spring in NYC Parks
Staten Island Chuck, NYC's resident groundhog at the Staten Island Zoo, predicted early spring! Take look at our timeline of some of the signs of spring to look for in New York City:
A check mark will appear and the image will brighten when a sign of spring is discovered. This timeline is subject to change.
As winter comes to an end, snowdrops emerge out of the frozen ground, usually in January or early February, as one of the earliest signs of spring. This year, a snowdrop was spotted in Sara D. Roosevelt Park on January 5!
One timberdoodle was early this year! A park visitor spotted this tiny little bird with its very long beak at Battery Park in early February, weeks ahead of the timberdoodles’ usual arrival! The presence of woodcocks also known as "timberdoodles" is a sign that their spring migration to the north has begun. As springtime nears, our parklands welcome warblers, songbirds, and many more feathered friends migrating to NYC. The second timberdoodle reported was seen in Central Park in early March, the usual arrival time.
This year, we’ve been alerted to hellebores budding in Central Park NYC in late February. These early spring flowers, also known as Lenten roses, frequently blossom during the 40-day Lent which started March 6. Hellebores were spotted in bloom in mid-March.
This musical clock is a favorite stop for kids walking by the Central Park Zoo. On March 2, the clock's chimes switch to its spring playlist, featuring songs like "Easter Parade" and "Younger than Springtime"!
Many New Yorkers look to the blossoming of daffodils—NYC's official flowers—as a sure sign that springtime is arriving in NYC. This year, daffodils in bloom were spotted at East River Park in early March.
Spring Forward: Daylight Saving Time
On Sunday, March 10, 2019, time springs forward one hour. This means more daylight hours and later sunsets!
Mid-March this year, we spotted these tiny yellow flowers in bloom at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn and at Washington Square Park in Manhattan.
Azalea flower buds were spotted in Central Park in mid-March this year! However, azaleas are expected to be in bloom in April.
At its peak, these pretty lavender-blue blanket the woodland floors at Wave Hill, adding a magical experience to walk around the garden grounds. This year, our friends at Wave Hill first spotted glory-of-the-snow flower buds in the garden in mid-March.
For many New Yorkers, it's officially springtime in NYC when magnolia trees in Central Park are in bloom. This year, star magnolias first bloomed in Central Park during the last weekend of March, followed by saucer magnolias in bloom at Union Square Park during the first week of April.
NYC's cherry trees are the highlight of spring! The most commonly-spotted cherry tree species in NYC include kwanzan (pink and double flowered), yoshino (tiny white flowers that smell like almonds), and okame (tiny deep pink flowers with a reddish-brown calyx that encloses the petals). This year, okame cherry trees bloomed in Central Park in late March/early April, followed by Yoshino cherry trees at Hunter’s Point South Park during the second week April. Kwanzan cherry blossoms were first spotted in Washington Square Park one week later.
Crabapple trees bloom fluffy-looking clusters of sweet-smelling blossoms on the tree's gnarled, craggy branches. The flowers are hues of pinks and reds, white, or white with pink trimmings. This year, our friends at Riverside Park Conservancy spotted crabapples in bloom in early April!
Callery pear trees are one of the most common species of street trees in NYC. They bloom clusters of tiny, snow-white flowers. This year, we spotted Callery pear trees in bloom on the Upper West Side during the second week of April.
Unlike all the other flowering plants, eastern redbud flowers grow directly from the branches (not from stems)! Their unique lavender-pink clusters of flower buds look like pom-poms on its branches. We first spotted buds on these trees in Brooklyn Bridge Park during the second week of April.
Tulip season peaks around late April to early May, adding pops of colors along our walkways as spring turns into summer weather. The tulips are early this year! We spotted them in bloom at Hunter’s Point South Park in Queens in mid-April.
This year, these unique flowers (the petal-like structures are actually leaves) were first spotted in Washington Square Park during the third week of April. Their colors can range from white to pink to pale red.