The holidays are just about here! What better place to ring in the festive season than in New York? Well get your binoculars ready because we’re going birdwatching in New York! With the potential to see beautiful wild songbirds perched on tree branches, gathered in flocks, or in flight, birdwatching offers some of nature’s finest free of cost to all those who appreciate them.
New York is a vast state, with a variety of regions that are well-suited for birdwatching. Whether you live in the Hudson Valley, New York City, or all the way north near the Canadian border, there are plenty of opportunities to witness our flighty friends. Read on for 5 of the best places to birdwatch in New York, including what species you can expect to see in each location.
The Ramble in Central Park
1. Central Park, New York City
The concrete jungle may not be known for its wildlife, but Central Park is actually one of the best places to birdwatch in the city. In fact, over 280 wild bird species have been recorded in the 843-acre park.While all of Central Park is a haven for birds, the Ramble on 79th street is Central Park’s most esteemed birding location for Palm Warblers, Indigo Buntings, Dark-Eyed Juncos, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, and many others. eBird is an excellent resource for an up-to-date list on when wild bird species were observed at the Ramble. Best of all, the Ramble is 100% free all year-round!
Hunting Caspian Tern. Photo Credit: Kevin Schiller & Tifft Nature Preserve
2. Tifft Nature Preserve, Buffalo
Located on the Outer Harbor just five minutes from downtown Buffalo are the 264 acres that make up the restored habitat known as the Tifft Nature Preserve. Birding at Tifft is great any time of year, but especially during migration season, when waterfowl, warblers, sparrows, black-capped chickadees, and herons are most prevalent. Not only are you likely to see a variety of wild birds here, but the events, discovery camps, family programs, and adult workshops ensure everyone will find something to enjoy.
Double-crested Cormorant. Photo Credit: eBird
3. Piermont Pier, Piermont
In the Hudson Valley in Rockland County are 2 miles of Hudson River shoreline that make up the Piermont Pier. Formally designated as the Piermont Marsh, this Estuarine Sanctuary is ideal for birdwatching in the winter and early spring months. During the winter, double-crested cormorants, mallards, American crows, white-throated sparrows, and European starlings are among the most common sightings.
Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary
Allen’s Hummingbird. Photo Credit: Will Sweet
4. Sapsucker Woods, Ithaca
The 22-acre woods that make up the Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary is part of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Students of Cornell University are quite lucky in that Sapsucker Woods is just 3 miles from campus. In addition to it being accessible via foot or car, there is also a bike path that makes for a lovely bird watching experience on wheels. Over 200 wild bird species have been spotted at Sapsucker Woods. Some of the rarest among them include the American Bittern and the Scarlet Tanager.
Sharp-shinned Hawk at Robert Moses State Park. Photo credit: eBird
5. Robert Moses State Park, Suffolk County
One of the best places on Long Island to go birdwatching is Robert Moses State Park. The 875-acre park is located on the western end of Fire Island, which in and of itself is a hotspot for birdwatching New York. Head to the Fire Island Lighthouse and you may be lucky enough to spot hawks on their fall migration. In the winter, waterfowl tend to frequent the Great South Bay.
Do you want to gift an awesome gift to nature lovers?
Consider the Wingspan Board Collection Board Game!
Do you have a favorite bird watching location in New York? Let us know! Send us pictures of some of your best bird sightings and we may feature them in an upcoming post!
In the meantime, keep the birds and wildlife in your own backyard coming back and staying healthy with the cleanest bird food around.
Happy Holidays from your favorite bird food family, Valley Farms®!