Central Park is arguably New York City's best place to watch birds. It is home both to native species and exotic birds that pass through during their migration.
The park's lush greenery and many secluded spots make it an ideal location for birds to nest and lay their eggs. Many nature guides host bird watching expeditions through the park. One guide, Dr. Robert Candido, hosts a three-hour walking tour on Friday and Saturday mornings. This tour discusses many of the 235 bird species found in the park.
The New York City Audubon Society, the Early Birders group, and the New York Companion Bird Club all host events focused on bird watching in Central Park.
If you decide to bird watch in Central Park on your own, you will need to bring along some appropriate equipment. A quality pair of binoculars is essential. You might also want a camera with a fast shutter speed. Some digital cameras have nature or animal settings that will help you take better pictures of fast moving objects. You should also pick up a good northeastern U.S. bird watching guide.
Central Park is home to a variety of exotic species, and if you visit the lakes of the park, such as The Pond and the Reservoir you can see animals like loons, ducks, and even egrets. Flighted birds from the region include the black-capped chickadee and the red-winged blackbird.
Check out The Central Park Effect, one of a series of documentaries featured on HBO, featuring John Fitzpatrick as a leading ornithologist and authority. The film runs 50+ minutes. More information here on their official page.