UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan — There are 265 species of birds spotted in Central Park each year.
And while no one species has been declared extinct yet, there are fewer and fewer birds flying in New York City and part of the reason is climate change.
“Why do I care about birds? I love birds,” Dr. Brian T. Smith, Curator of Birds, American Museum of Natural History,” told PIX11 News. “Birds are indicator of general eco system health and environmental health,” he added.
The curator of birds at the American Museum of Natural History was hugely encouraged by the massive turnout across the globe on the biggest day of climate demonstrations in the history of the planet. With a new study just out about a 30 percent drop in the number of birds in North America over the last half century, this leading ornithologist sees today’s demonstrations as key to bringing about changes needed in the environment.
“I’m really excited to see younger generations tackling these major challenges,” Dr. Smith told PIX11 News.
The number of students demonstrating in New York City, estimated at more than 60,000, surprised so many, including the NYPD.
The Brooklyn Borough President helped organize a few thousand attendees at Brooklyn borough hall and when asked if he was taking advantage of a political hot button issue, an answer not expected.
“We are taking advantage to get kids motivated, “ Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President, told PIX11 News. “That’s his change happens,” he added.
As they marched over the Brooklyn Bridge, crowds were so large police had to shut off the exit of the bridge, sending cars backward. The majority of the demonstrators couldn’t even get to the noon time rally at Foley Square.
“Because we have only one planet, we don’t have a plan b,” one student demonstrator told PIX11.
For the thousands who packed Battery Park there was music and speeches, including a talk by the 16-year-old celebrity climate activist Greta Thunberg.
“This is the biggest climate strike in history ever in history and you should be so proud, thank you so much,” she added as the crowd cheered.