As winter turns to spring, new species continue to thrive in the Bronx
With spring fast approaching, the Bronx is seeing more of our neighbors in nature thanks to efforts to clean up parts of our ecosystem.
As deputy director of the city Parks Department's Wildlife Unit, Katrina Toal monitors animals across the city.
"I think that there's a lot of animals that people don't realize live in their backyards, in the parks, in their neighborhoods, just on the scaffolding of their buildings," says Toal.
In Soundview Park, she says turn your eyes to the skies to catch a glimpse of red-tailed hawks, owls and osprey.
Osprey, Toal says, is a bird that wasn't really spotted in New York City 30 years ago. But now, the species nests along many waterways.
Experts say efforts to clean the Bronx River in recent years helps make it a home for more.
"You have a healthy population of plants that are living in the Bronx River, and mussels, and other mollusks that are living in the Bronx River," says Toal. "You might have more birds that are coming in and eating those. And so I've seen a lot of different kind of gulls walking around here, and that's probably because there's a lot of food sources from the Bronx River."
On land, besides opossums and raccoons, coyotes also call the Bronx home, ever since they first arrived in the 1990s.
Toal encouraged Bronx residents to get out and enjoy the nature that surrounds us -- but to be sure to appreciate it from afar.