Scarlet Tanagers and other migrating birds descend upon New York City to rest and refuel during spring and fall migration. Photo: Carla Rhodes
New York City is home to spectacular birdlife, and offers some of the most thrilling birding in the northern hemisphere. And yet, many New Yorkers are surprised to learn that over 350 bird species can be found here throughout the year. Beautiful songbirds, majestic egrets and herons, fast and fierce falcons, and glittering, hovering hummingbirds all live right here with us. They stop over during migration by the millions, many nest and raise their young here, and others come to visit us for the winter.
NYC Audubon is dedicated to protecting all the birds that call our city home. And we know that the only way to protect birds and their habitats is to make sure that our fellow New Yorkers get to know and love the amazing variety of birds that are right here, under all of our noses. We hope you’ll get to know the birds. (Or, get to know them even better.)
Whether you’ve just started to explore the wonders of birds, or are a well-versed, eager birder looking to explore what New York City has to offer you, you’ve come to the right place. We at NYC Audubon hope this website leads you to many fantastic and memorable birding adventures. Go forth and bird!
A Great Egret in flight in Jamaica Bay, Queens, against the Manhattan skyline. Photo: François Portmann
Birding In NYC
While many people may not associate New York City with wildlife or birdwatching, the truth is that in the City's parks and green spaces, and along portions of the 578-mile waterfront, you'll find some of the best places in the world to watch birds.
Birding by Subway
NYC Audubon’s Birding by Subway brochure provides a quick guide to 30 birding hotspots that straphangers can access across the City's five boroughs. We've recently expanded the brochure to include additional destinations such as Brooklyn’s Shirley Chisholm State Park, Marine Park, and Calvert Vaux Park, and updated it with current subway routes. Get out and bird by subway!
An American Robin gathers materials to build its nest. Photo: Dave Ostapiuk
Birding is an endlessly fascinating hobby, and one that you can pursue just as you wish: solo or with a friendly group, casually or with great competitive intensity, just in your local “patch” or all over the globe. And once you discover the world of birds, you find there’s always more to learn and explore; every place you visit gains a new layer of interest and fascination. To get the best out of your birding experiences, both in New York City and elsewhere, we present Birding 101. Learn what you need to get started, when the best times are to bird, and other birding tips.
Barred Owls, which visit New York City during migration and over the winter, need undisturbed rest during the day. Photo: M.E. Sanseverino/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Birding Law & Ethics
Birding is an exhilarating pastime, one that connects us to birds and often evokes a desire to protect them. In our excitement as we bird, however, it can sometimes be tempting to push the boundaries of what is best for birds.
NYC Organizations and Clubs
The birding community has expanded and connected in many new ways over the past few decades, both locally and globally, providing many new opportunities to get involved with birding and other birders. Birding alone can be a beautiful, meditative experience. But if you’d like to join up with other birders, there are many opportunities, in New York City and beyond. Here we share recommended bird-related conservation organizations, natural history societies, birding clubs, blogs, and online chat boards.
(Looking for more immediate help with birding basics? See our Birding 101 page for tips on binoculars, field guides and apps, birding times in NYC, and other useful birding references.)
Virtual Birding Activities and Resources
NYC Audubon has been creating a wide variety of virtual programming to connect you with the City’s birds and their conservation while we have been social distancing and staying safe. Get to know the birds and wildlife of NYC through our virtual festivals.