As he rounds the corner of West 208th Street and Ninth Avenue with two green fishing nets over his shoulder, James Cataldi says: "You go first. They'll flock toward me if they see me." Just a year and a half ago, this wedge of waterfront was a dumping ground and a "heroin shantytown." But today, James has single handedly removed hundreds of pounds of garbage and made it a remarkable refuge for hundreds of birds. "I was a Wall Street guy. I was heavily into math," Mr. Cataldi says. "But this is my calling."

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  • Mary

    I AM INSPIRED TO SEE ACTION LIKE THIS - IT IS IN MY VIEW, ELOQUENCE! I COMMEND YOU JAMES CATALDI! WHAT A WONDERFUL CELEBRATION OF YOUR SELFHOOD! JUST GETTING ON WITH THE JOB AND STANDING SURE IN YOUR COMMITTED PATH! I SALUTE YOU, THANK YOU AND RESPECT YOU FOR YOUR DILIGENCE, PATIENCE AND KIND ACTS! BLESSINGS ON YOUR PATH!

  • James Cataldi

    Thank you all for your most kind and inspiring words. We need to protect our earth, and our wildlife along with our youth, it is the only earth we have, and we owe everything to the earth. . Peace. Birdman of NYC, inwood's North Cove. A.k.a. James "the Birdman" Cataldi

  • Lisa

    I too, wondered why no on else pitched in....I would be there, and in fact Jim's given me incentive to pursue becoming a Wildlife Manager...what a gift!

  • rosemary

    the question would be why this wonderful man was working alone...i would have been in there with him enjoying every moment...this kind of stewardship of the planet is what we all need-bless you a thousand times...

  • kamal

    the simplicity and clarity and uncluttered vision of the man. very inspiring!

  • Andrew

    Very good job Jim

  • Lyn

    God bless you Jim.

  • Michele

    This is a beautiful video about someone who is making a difference! What a heart. What passion. Thank you birdman.

  • Suzanne

    What a hero you are...Your commitment to wildlife and their habitat is beautiful.

  • Jade Sherer

    Jim, you are my hero. Tears slide down my cheeks to know that you are out there...thank you a million times over for your commitment and love for Earth and her Children. I am sending this on to inspire others....huge wild blessings coming your way!

  • Bruce

    Jim, I appreciate your conviction and fortitude. You are a champion to the wildlife making its home there, and in your own personal way showing people the power of love.

  • Michelle

    I love that this man was not stopped by the insurmountable garbage. I am inspired to continue maintaning my city park at Jackson Square, regardless how many times we need to clean up remains that other human beings that leave behind. I know one day this park is becoming a wonderful place to relax, read and enjoy a meal with friends and neigbors and finally say goodbye to the drug addicts !

  • Francesca

    What inspired me was that he took action without thinking first, "is this a lost, impossible cause?" He just stepped in. Great inspiration. Thanks, James

  • Helen

    An inspiration for all who believe one individual can't make a difference - just imagine what an 'army' of people like Jim could do ...

  • Trini Alday

    Thank you Jim, I believe this is the way to change our planet. Loving, Caring and Sharing in all ways. God Bless You..

  • Marsha

    Beautiful. Just a little bit at a time. And we can all do this! Thanks for all your work, Jim.

  • James Hassett

    Thank you, Jim, for demonstrating the power of one who follows the call of their heart. You're transforming yourself, the environment, the ecosystem, the neighborhood and the hearts of others. "To thine own self be true and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not be false to any man.""By your works you shall be known."

  • Isaac Fernandez

    Por personas com Jim tenemos un mejor planeta, gracias Jim!!!

  • Janvie

    The opportunity to re-evaluate your life and commit to something...because it is the right thing to do. Thank you, Jim...what gracious heart...this is the sharing that keeps me going...grateful am I...

  • goddessence

    I am so amazed by Jim's dedication and selfless love. Thanks Jim, you are a hero!!!

  • anne

    totally made me cry! thank god for people like you jim. truly beautiful!

  • Aftab

    Jim You are truly a gurdian angel to the birds! You are practically doing what many of us fantasize about! May God give you super strength to carry on your mission and I hope you will have a following where others will join hands to help you continue the great work! We owe it to the birds to give them back what we have so carelessly and voilently taken from them.

  • Pam

    You Rock! Nuff said

  • Pam

    James, You are a true hero! Thank you.

  • Sandra

    Blessings of all winged ones and all humans and all angels on you and your work.

  • Nancy

    Why do we forget the power of one!

  • Annie

    Thank you for inspiring me! Your profound committment to the land, the habitat, the birds. All things on this planet are of value and you remind us all of this truth. We can all be the change. Blessings!

  • Carrie

    You are amazing! Thank you for your commitment.

  • maryp

    I'm inspired by this man, Jim's, authentic caring. By his simple commitment to beauty and the wellbeing of the birds who are (one of) the victims of the trash and contamination. I'm inspired by yet again - one determined human making a difference. Blessings from you and to you Jim.

  • Kathy

    Thank you, Birdman. With your mind, body and soul, you have made a difference in the world. I appreciate that, and honor your contribution. Thanks NYTimes, for showing us this little piece of the world, and telling the story of how one person can indeed, make a big difference, even alone. One is enough.

  • Valerie

    Amazing, humbling, moving. Thank you, James. You reminded me what one person can do if they have the will and the sense of purpose.

  • Birdman of long beach

    Well, I am the - Birdman of long beach - In California since 2005. I also found my calling and at first people also thought I was crazy sitting around corners untieing Pigeons. That was over 3,000 birds ago and if anyone can understand why this man is doing what he is doing it is me. Then before long I had homeless people, crack addicts, heroine addicts etc. bringing me injured birds. Even animal control brings me some birds. What was really odd at first was my first year and a half I did my rehab. work homeless working about 13 hours a day 7 days a week doctoring birds on the street. This man has done a incredable job and he should be a inspiration to everyone in New York. I wonder if any city officials ever even thanked him for his efforts. Hell would freeze over here in long beach if any city official ever thanked me. But our reward is from within and knowing we saved a life. What could be more awesome than that. Thank you James Cataldi from the - Birdman of long beach - Dan Lubniewski - USMC veteran.

  • halldor

    somewhat like a superhero i admire you James, and feel inspired to try a little harder to stretch myself further from small efforts to gargantuan ones. little by little or day by day, if we all make the efforts, we can live harmoniously in this paradise.

  • Billie

    Wow Jim, I's so grateful to you! keep on!!!

  • Dave

    Thank you James. The world would be a much better place if people took your example!

  • Jennifer

    Thank you James - you are a beautiful soul. May your act of kindness and courage inspire others. God Bless you, and bless those birds you care for. And yes - it's all about leading a purposeful life, thank you for that reminder! ~ Jennifer, VT

  • rachel biderman

    amazing, serious comitment, great example to all of us, rachel, Brasil

  • Anoosh

    What a beautiful act, What a beautiful site, You are all EARTH ANGELS. Blessings to you all. How grateful I am to find you. Anoosh

  • chris

    WOW! Thank You Jim for doing it just because! I am stepping up my work because of you :)

  • elizabeth

    Beautiful -- the work, the geese, the forgotten place. THE MAN who sees underneath. And yes, if we each pick up one piece of trash a day... James, how beautiful that you found your calling and now share the story with us. Elizabeth

  • Susan

    Spiritual Ecology at its Best!!! Thank You James

  • Mr. Bounlam khanty.

    Hi Jame. I am very interesting to see you here and I would like to say this is Video it is very good. Thank you very much Jame. I am from Laos.

  • Glenda Miles

    With deep appreciation for brightening and lightening up a little corner of our world - you have inspired us!

  • Thierry Laure

    I find James's commitment remarquable. A very fine demonstration of freedom. Thank you very much.Thierry

  • Dee DiGioia

    Wow! I am so speechless right now. Thank you for doing that James-- what an amazing act of kindness and caring to take on. I hope others will support you.

  • Patrick McBride

    James, I was born and raised in Inwood, 207th and Broadway. I left because it had become a dump. Never crossed my mind to change it. You, on the other hand, saw it cleaned and took the action to make it so. What an inspiration! You have made a difference and thanks to this video, I know that we can do something no matter where we are or what we are up against. Thank you. Patrick

  • Marcia Frazee

    Thank You, James for every moment you've put into this Habitat. You may be working alone, however, you are modeling goodness & love for everyone. Your inspirational gifts are having a major impact on our world, and I for one am honored to share it with you! Thank You James. Marcia

  • Vicki Schmidt

    Thank you James for your fine work - if we call could just pick up one piece of trash that we find in our path - imagine the difference we could make.

  • Page 1

  • Learn more about the Wild Bird Fund, that helps save wild birds in New York City. 

  • Biodiversity refers to the vast variety of wild plants, animals, and microrganisms that live on our planet.  Read about the importance of preserving wildlife.

  • Go bird watching.  Or volunteer at a bird sanctuary near you.

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