Did you know that Central Park is one of the 14 best places to birdwatch in the United States, right up there with Yosemite National Park? The 275 different species that have been spotted in the park are, in fact, part of the inspiration behind Janet Schulman’s Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City (with illustrations by the talented Meilo So). We’re quite sure this true story, which is quickly becoming one of the Big Apple’s most beloved children’s books, has the makings of a classic. Follow along on this walking tour of Pale Male’s adventures in New York City and who knows, you might even spot him along the way!

Finding A New Home

Our tour begins on The Great Lawn, where Pale Male and his mate built their first nest together near one of the Lawn's baseball diamonds. How'd he get there? In 1991, a red-tailed hawk from New Jersey landed in Central Park and liked what he saw around him. Birdwatchers liked him too, and nicknamed him Pale Male thanks to his beige and white coloring. Due to a series of unfortunate events, Pale Male's mate was injured in an attack and sent off to a hawk rescue center for rehabilitation, and Pale Male was on his own once again.

– Ellen Schmidt