Illustrations from W.H. Hudson’s Birds in London, Arthur David McCormick, 1898 (© American Museum of Natural History Library, New York)
W.H. Hudson was an eminent naturalist who wrote many books about birds. In 1898 he published Birds in London, a volume that described avian activity in the metropolis.
In this volume, Hudson describes the state of trees in Greenwich Park:
[T]here are not in England such melancholy looking trees as those of Greenwich. You cannot get away from their said mutilated condition […] they were thus mutilated some twenty to twenty-five years ago to save them from further decay!
Hudson goes on to link the loss of healthy trees to the disappearance of birds from the Park, noting that jackdaws and owls are no longer seen there.
Hudson would be happy to know that things have much improved. More than 30 species of bird are known to breed in Greenwich Park today, including nuthatches, goldcrests, chiffchaffs, blackcaps, coal tits, ring-necked parakeets, song thrushes and stock doves.
William Henry Hudson (Wikipedia) - Biography of the author, naturalist and ornithologist.
Bird Spotter Sheet - Read about Greenwich Park's winged visitors, and see how many you can spot.