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Signs of Spring in NYC Parks

Staten Island Chuck, NYC's resident groundhog at the Staten Island Zoo, predicted early spring! Take look at some early signs of spring to look for in New York City. Did you spot a sign of spring in our parks? We'd love to see it! Show it to us by positng your spring news with #SignsofSpringNYC!


Snowdrop flowers at Wave Hill

As winter comes to an end, snowdrops emerge out of the frozen ground as one of the earliest signs of spring. This year, on February 1, gardeners at Wave Hill announced having spotting snowdrops on Wave Hill's grounds. Learn more about snowdrops from our experts at Wave Hill (Photo courtesy of Wave Hill)

Witch Hazels

witch hazel at Randall's Island

As snowdrops bloom all across the city, witch hazels began flowering in mid February, adding pops of color to our wintry scenes and hope for an early spring. These flowers were spotted on Randall's Island! (Photo courtesy of Randall's Island Park Alliance)

The Crocus


The crocus is one of the first spring bulbs to pop up in some of our parks. This year, our friends at the Central Park Conservancy spotted these crocuses in late February. (Photo credit: Central Park Conservancy)



New York City's official flower is no stranger to spring's bright colors. On the first day of March, Central Park Conservancy reported having spotted this single daffodil flower in their Shakespeare Garden!

Wondering why there are so many daffodils around the city? In 2007, the daffodil was named the official flower of NYC in recognition of the Daffodil Project, a current citywide initiative with New Yorkers for Parks to plant millions of daffodils as a living memorial of hope after the tragedies of September 11. (Photo credit: Central Park Conservancy)

The Delacorte Clock 

Delacorte Clock

This musical clock is a favorite stop for kids walking by the Central Park Zoo. On March 2, the clock's chimes switches to a spring theme, featuring songs like "Easter Parade" and "Younger than Springtime"! Check out the spring playlist!

NYBG's Orchid Show

New York Botanical Garden Orchid Show

Although not a natural sign of spring, the opening of the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden is one of New Yorkers' favorite marks of the coming season. The annual show, featuring hundreds of orchids on view indoors is an escape from the winter chill into a warm oasis of flowers. On view March 3, 2018 - April 22, 2018. Watch our tour of the Orchid Show


red-tailed hawk

It's not uncommon to see aerial courtship displays by red-tailed hawks in the beginning of spring. On March 4, a love triangle between three hawks in Tompkins Square Park made the news! Take a look

Spring Migration

woodcock sitting in the snow

On March 8, few days after a snowstorm hit New York City. Bryant Park reported birders having spotted woodcocks in the park! The presence of woodcocks also known as "timberdoodles" is a sign that their spring migration to the north has begun. 

piping plover

In early spring, piping plovers arrive on Rockaway Beach to court and nest.

ospreys in a nest high up on a pole

Ospreys also return to our parks in early spring to mate. These majestic birds mate for life and build their nests along coastlines, usually in very tall trees, and on light poles and utility poles.

As springtime nears, our parklands welcome warblers and many other songbirds migrating into the city. Visit our Birding in NYC Parks page to find some of the best places to go birding in the city, or go birding with an expert at these birding events

Spring Forward: Daylight Savings Time

Sunset at Hunters Point South Park

On Sunday, March 11, 2018, time springs forward one hour. This means more daylight hours and later sunsets!

Red Maple Trees

bird nest

Tiny red buds of flowers grow on these leafless trees as spring approaches. Flower buds appeared on some red maple trees in early March this year. Is there a red maple tree near you? Visit our Street Tree Map to find out! 

Glory of the snow flowers

Sunset at Hunters Point South Park

These pretty lavender-blue flowers starting blooming at Wave Hill in early March last year. When in full bloom, these early spring flowers blanket the woodland floors, adding a magical experience to walk around the garden grounds.


Magnolias in Central Park

Last year, the saucer and star magnolia trees in Central Park started blooming after spring started, but magnolias usually bloom within a week of spring's arrival. 

NYC Parks Makes Spring

Forest Park Greenhouses

As spring approaches, our talented gardeners plant thousands of flowers in local parks, greenstreets, and playground to bring spring to all neighborhoods. Learn how spring is made in NYC



Salamanders congregate for a few days in early spring to mate and lay eggs in vernal pools. It is then a race against time for the aquatic, gilled larvae to transform into land-dwelling adults before the water dries in late summer. (Photo: Susan Stanley/NYC Parks)

Monarch Butterflies


When the weather warms up, monarchs come out of hibernation and mate. After mating, they begin their trip to southern United States to lay their eggs on milkweed. Spot them in our gardens and among roadside plants.

GreenThumb's Annual GrowTogether Conference


When's spring's in the air our green thumb starts to wiggle even more. Thinking about starting a garden or looking to improve your own? On March 31, come to GreenThumb's full day of gardening workshops led by experts at our community gardens. Learn more

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