Where to Bird

The Queens County Bird Club has an excellent, comprehensive list of great birding sites.  You can find the link here

Some of our other favorite resources include:

"Birdwatching in New York City and Long Island" by Deborah Rivel and Kellye Rosenheim. 

 "Adirondack Birding: 60 Great Places to Find Birds"  Please note that some of the directions may be different since the book was published, so always double check.  

"A Guide to Bird Finding in New Jersey". An excellent resource with many outstanding bird sites. Plan an entire weekend!

You can find these books and more on Amazon.com!

Here is a list of productive birding sites, from Queens County Bird Club's site, with a few of our own thrown in. For live links to maps, please be sure to visit their Birding Site page!!!

Adirondack State Park- The ADKS are an outstanding place to visit for birds, especially during breeding season.  

 ALLEY POND PARK {Queens County}  

1 – Lower Parking Lot. This location may be used for car pooling, if participation and/or the leader deems it necessary. Therefor, please register for trips! The leader needs to know you are coming, and because if we don’t need to car pool, we may skip this location! Also, be PROMPT we don’t want to leave without you: remember, the best birds are early in the morning.
2 – Upper Parking Lot. Some trips start here
3 – 76th Avenue Parking Lot. Some trips start here

BAISLEY POND PARK {Queens County} Good for ducks in the winter and breeding YC Night Herons. 

BASHERKILL MARSH {Sullivan County}  Take New York Thruway then route 17 to Wurtsboro exit 113. Turn left and drive to Haven Road. Turn left and follow road across bridge. Look for a narrow road on the left side, leading to the parking area. This location has too many great things to list here. 

BELMONT LAKE {Suffolk County} The lake has been a reliable night roost for winter rarities including Barnacle Goose, Cackling Goose, and Greater White-fronted Goose. 

Bellplain State Forest: Belleplain State Forest is a top location for bird watching in the State of New Jersey. Breeding yellow-throated warblers are a big draw here, but it's rich with other breeding species.  

BLUE CHIP FARMS & SHAWANGUNK NWR nee Galeville Airport {Ulster County}  The place upstate for reliable grassland species in breeding season such as  Upland Sandpiper, Bobolink, E. Meadowlark, Grasshopper Sparrow; and wintering birds like Short-eared Owl, Kestrel, and Rough-legged Hawk. 2017 had Henslow's and Dicksissel.

BREEZY POINT {Queens County}  Park at the fisherman’s parking lot which is at the end of the road.

Betty Allen Twin Ponds Park  Head to Huntington on Route 110 and turn east on Rote 25A (Northern Boulevard). Drive to Centerport. Entrance is on your right; watch for sign. Park on opposite side of streeet.

NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDENS {Bronx County}  From Whitestone Bridge, take Hutchinson River Parkway to Pelham Bay Park/ Parkway exit, or from Throgs Neck Bridge, bear right and take Throgs Neck Expressway/Bruckner Expressway to Pelham Bay Park exit 1. Head west on Pelham Bay Parkway and after the park on your right, bear right into Southern Boulevard. Entrance is on your right.

Caleb Smith State Park {Suffolk County} Take Northern State Parkway or I-495 to the Sunken Meadow Parkway. Head north to exit SM3, then east on Jericho Turnpike. Look for the park on your left after driving approx. 2 miles. Park is closed Mondays, in winter also Tuesdays.

Caumsett State Park {Suffolk County}  From route 25A in Huntington, turn north at West Neck Road. Continue over causeway to park entrance.

CENTRAL PARK {New York County} Location of official and unofficial place names. Compiled by David Barrett. 

Chelsea Mansion {Nassau County}  Drive east on route 25A. At the second traffic light past route 107, look for the entrance sign on the right side, near the traffic light (Mill River Road). When gate is closed, may be accessible from the Muttontown Preserve. Not always open to the public.

Coffin Woods {Nassau County}  Take route 25A to Wolverhollow Road (traffic light and police station). Turn north until the road ends, then right on Chicken Valley Road. Stay on this road until the railroad overpass comes into view. Just at the overpass, turn left into the game warden’s driveway.

CROTON POINT PARK {Westchester County}  1- Train Station Parking Lot. We meet at the train station, where there are restrooms, and also bird various spots here before continuing on to the park proper.

Cunningham Park {Queens County}  Take Grand Central Parkway to Francis Lewis Boulevard north. Turn left at Union Turnpike. Turn left into the Tennis Court parking lot immediately on your left.

CUPSOGUE BEACH {Suffolk County} This beach at the end of Dune Road in Westhampton is the eastern side of Moriches Inlet. The flats have been excellent for shorebirds and terns; the partial list of exceptional rarities spotted there is Brown Booby, Elegant Tern, Arctic Tern, Red-necked Stint, Common Ringed Plover. The best access is TIDE DEPENDANT ie LOW or best on mid falling tide for easiest access. See here for the tides and remember to use common sense and good judgement when crossing through water! In season fee collected after 8:30 am.FREE before 8:30.

Delaware River (New Jersey)  Take I-80 west to the Visitor Center at the Delaware Watergap. Meet the club there and then proceed along Old Mine Road which follows north along the river.

DOODLE TOWN {Rockland County}  Take I-87 north across the Tappan Zee Bridge to Bear Mountain Parkway, then head north on it to the exit for route 6 East. Follow that to the traffic circle at the Bear Mountain Bridge. Bear right into route 9W south, drive past the traffic light, down the winding hill to the intersection of a road coming in on the right side. Park immediately past that intersection. A narrow, winding uphill trail leads to Doodletown. Breeding Cerulean and Hooded Warblers abound.

EDGEWOOD PRESERVE {Suffolk County}  Located south of the LIE on Commack Road. Good place for Whip-poor-will in summer. 

FOREST PARK {Queens County}  Excellent for spring migrants especially Warblers. The famous water-hole is a magnet for warblers and other migrants. From Grand Central Parkway going west, take Jackie Robinson [Interborough] Parkway to the Metropolitan Avenue exit. Turn left and park on the right side of Metropolitan Avenue or along Park Lane South which crosses several blocks ahead. Watch for parking restrictions. Club meets Park Lane South between Grosvenor Road and Mayfair Road.

FLOYD BENNET FIELD {Kings County}  From the Belt Parkway, take the Flatbush Avenue exit south. The entrance is on your left just before the toll plaza.  On trips we meet at the ranger station located on the right shortly after entering the park.

FORT TILDEN & JACOB RIIS PARK   {Queens County}  From Southern State Parkway, take Flatbush Avenue South exit 11 (Marine Parkway Bridge) across toll bridge. Take Breezy Point exit and turn left into the entrance just past the traffic light. The Administration Building is to your left at the end of the road. For hawk-watch at Fort Tilden, drive past Administration Building to end of road, turn left and drive along ocean to far parking lot. This lot is only available without permit after September 15.

GARDINER COUNTY PARK {Suffolk County} A reliable and easy location for Seaside Sparrow, Saltmarsh Sparrow, and Marsh Wren. Take Robert Moses Causeway to Montauk Hwy. Go east 1/4 mile. Has had Little Egret in 2015

GARRETT MOUNTAIN (New Jersey)  From the George Washington Bridge, take I-80 west to exit 56 (Squirrelwood Road). At the end of the exit ramp, turn left (south) onto Squirrelwood Road. Proceed over I-80 up the hill into the mountain and turn right on to Rifle Camp Road. After a quarter mioe make a sharp legft onto Mountain Avenue and you will see parking along the road by the park.

GARVIES POINT PRESERVE {Nassau County}  From I-495, exit 39N, go 5.2 miles north on Glen Cove Road. Bear left at the fork and continue to end of road (at the firehouse). Turn left for one block, then right at the traffic light. Continue to the end of the road, then turn left. Just after the road curves to the right, make a left turn into McLoughlin Street. Near its end, turn left into Barry Drive which has an entrance to the Preserve.

GREAT SWAMP NWR (New Jersey)  Take I-80 to I-287 South to exit 33 (Harter Road). Turn left on Route 202 then left on Sandspring Road. Turn right on Hill Road/ Blue Mill Road/Lee’s Hill Road, then left on Long Hill Road.

GREAT VLY SWAMP {Ulster County}  Can be good for Virginia Rail, Sora, and at least twice King Rail. 

HEMPSTEAD LAKE STATE PARK {Nassau County}  Take Southern State Parkway to exit 18, head south to last parking lot entrance before the road turns left sharply around the lake.  See Map above Parking FEE as of April 2013 On weekends and holidays    We meet at Parking Lot 3 [ furthest south ]

HOOK MOUNTAIN {Rockland County}  Part of Rockland State Park . Take Interstate I-87 north from New York across Tappan Zee Bridge to 9W. Limited parking is along US 9W, look for a small pullout on the right side before reaching the south entrance to the Park. If you reach the Rockland Lake entrance, you've gone too far. Follow the     yellow blazes marking the trail uphill to the exposed clearing at the summit. There are private residences in this area so be careful not block driveways and heed the "No Trespassing" signs. Or pass Christian Herald Road and go to the south entrance of Rockland Lake State Park an the executive golf course. Do not park near the clubhouse.  At the flagpole in the turning loop take the     yellow marked trail uphill to the intersection with the    blue trail. Turn right and proceed uphill to the summit. 

JAMAICA BAY WILDLIFE REFUGE {Queens County}  Take Southern State Parkway to Cross Bay Boulevard south, exit 17S, then head south. After crossing the bridge, look for parking lot entrance on the right side 1 1/4 mile ahead at the traffic light. Shorebird numbers in the East pond are influenced by the tides. At High tide, they may be limited to the area in the East Pond. Tides here

JONES BEACH STATE PARK {Nassau County}  Meadowbrook Parkway south  to end. For West End, bear right, follow signs.  Daily parking fee $8, {$10 when beach open}   Week Ends  6am – 4pm   Week Days   8am - 4pm 

KISSENA PARK {Queens County}  A very good location for spring migrants, and with the restoration of the 'corridor' an excellent location for fall migrants. From junction LIE – &  Kissena Boulevard and head north.

1- Velodrome Parking Lot. Our new meeting location, as there is ample parking
2 – Rose Avenue Location. Old meeting location, some trips may start here.

LIDO PRESERVE {Nassau County} Free parking. Good location for waders like Tri-colored Heron etc. 

LORD STIRLING PARK (New Jersey)  Take Route 287 to exit 30-A. Take North Maple Ave, bear left at fork (Becomes South Maple Ave). After passing stable make left on Lord Stirling Rd. Park at Environmental Education Center on left 1 mile down

MARINE NATURE STUDY AREA {Nassau County}  Take Southern State Parkway to exit 20S (Grand Avenue-Baldwin). Pass Sunrise Highway, then turn right on Atlantic Avenue. Turn left on Waukena Avenue and start looking for signs to the nature center. Turn left on Park Avenue, then left on Golf Drive to Slice Drive. MNSA-Info  Town_Park_info

Marshlands Conservancy {Westchester}


MIANUS RIVER GORGE PRESERVE {Westchester County} Park opens at 9am. 

MONTAUK POINT STATE PARK {Suffolk County}  Take I-495 east to exit 70. Turn right and go to end of road, then turn left into route 27. Follow along route 27 to end of road. Parking Free before they start collecting { 8am } or with Empire Passport. Outstanding spot for winter waterfowl

MUTTONTOWN PRESERVE {Nassau County}  There is an entrance on route 25A east-bound, west of route 106.  There is a parking field in the Equestrian Center south of route 25A on 106. Great for spring migrants and breeding birds. 

Nassau County Museum of Art {Nassau County}  From Northern State Parkway (exit 28) or I-495 (exit 37), take Mineola Avenue north to route 25A. Turn right and drive across viaduct. On top of the hill, make a left turn into the museum area. Closed Mondays.

NICKERSON BEACH {Nassau County} Parking fee collected in season - as of 6-1-2017  fee collected between 9 & 4pm; free before or after. FEES: Daily: $12 for {Nassau Co.} "Leisure Pass" holders and $35 for all others. A great place in season for Terns: so far in May & June 2017 Common, Roseate, Least, Royal, Black, * Artic, *Sandwich

Norman J. Levy Park {Nassau County}  Take Meadowbrook Parkway to Merrick Road and drive east. Turn right immediately after passing parkway (Sanitation Dep’t entrance).

OAKLAND LAKE {Queens County}  On Cloverdale near to jxn Northern Blvd & Cross Island pkwy. 

Overpeck Park {New Jersey}  Take I-95 across George Washington Bridge and turn-off to New Jersey Turnpike. Take the first exit (Route 46, Ridgefield Park) to end of street and turn left. Drive two blocks to left turn for route 46 East. After making the turn, bear left, cross over I-95 and turn left. Drive to end. Caution for exit from Overpeck
Park. To go east, follow entrance sign for I-95. To go west, drive forward to route 46 and turn east.

PELHAM BAY PARK {Bronx County}  Take the Hutchinson River Parkway to Orchard Beach exit, then follow the road to its end. Turn left into the Orchard Beach parking area. R

Planting Field Arboretum {Nassau County}  Take route 25A to Wolverhollow Road (traffic light and police station). Turn north until the road ends, then right on Chicken Valley Road. Pass the large gate of Planting Fields, and turn right at the next road, Planting Fields Road, which leads to the Arboretum. Parking Fee.

POINT LOOKOUT {Nassau County}  This inlet often has rarities of one sort or another, like Black-headed Gull, Little Gull, Ross' Gull {once} Eared Grebe, Red-necked Grebe.  Take Meadowbrook Parkway south to Long Beach exit and follow to traffic light. Turn left and park near end of street. Legal parking may be limited, and is a few blocks back from entrance.

PLUMB BEACH {Kings County} Free parking. Has been a reliable location in ~spring~ for Nelson's Sparrow. ( usually a fall migrant ) 2017 has had at least two Subvirgatus aka the Atlantic race. Clapper Rails numerous here. Has also had other good shorebirds such as Baird's. Sparrows best found at HIGH tide. 

PROSPECT PARK {Kings County}  Take Jackie Robinson Parkway to Bushwick Avenue, then turn left into Eastern Parkway. Drive around Grand Army Plaza and park. Meet at this entrance.  A more detailed map is available HERE from Rob Jett's City Birder site

QUAKER RIDGE HAWK WATCH {Connecticut}  Located on the Greenwich Audubon Property.

ROBERT MOSES STATE PARK {Suffolk County}  From Northern State Parkway, take Meadowbrook Parkway or Wantagh Parkway south to Jones Beach. Then head east until you reach the right turn for Fire Island. Turn right and cross the bridge into the park. Club meets at east end of Field 2. Hawk Watch is located east of Field 5. Note, do not park by platform, one must park in a lot. Fees collected Weekends  7am – 4pm   Week Days   8am - 4pm 

Rockefeller Preserve State Park {Westchester County}  This site hosted two, possible three Kentucky warblers in June 2011! here is a map marked with their locations

Sands Point Preserve {Nassau County}  Take I-495 to exit 36, then north on Searingtown Road which
turns into Port Washington Boulevard (route 101). Continue past Port Washington, then watch for entrance 1 1/2 miles ahead on your right. Permission required; call 883-1612. Parking fee.

SHARON SPRINGS {Schoharie County}  Take 87 north to Albany, continue on I-90 Thru-way westbound.  Connect to 20 west to Sharon Springs.  Meeting location is corner of Kilts and Goodrich roads.  Historically good for Henslow’s Sparrow. Grasshopper in area, as well as nearby Uppies and Mississippi Kites not too far away.

SHU SWAMP {Nassau County}  Take route 25A to Wolverhollow Road (traffic light and police station). Turn north until the road ends, then right on Chicken Valley Road. Pass  planting Fields, and turn right at the blinking light. Drive along the pond at your left, turning left, and continue until you reach the sanctuary parking lot on the left side, just before LIRR overpass. No street parking. Closed Fridays.

Stehli Beach {Nassau County}  From route 25, 25A, I-495, or Northern State Parkway, take route 106 north into Oyster Bay. Make a left turn at Lexington Avenue (Berry Hill Road), then left when it ends. Follow this road along the bay into Bayville. Turn left at the traffic light at the end of the road. Drive through Bayville. Just before the road turns sharply to the left, turn right into the beach parking lot. Residents only in summer.

STERLING FOREST {Orange County}  Reliable Golden-winged Warbler location, with one recent breeding of Mississippi Kite. Take the I-87  to Sloatsburg Exit 15A, continuing North up Route 17 through Tuxedo. Beware that Tuxedo is a notorious speed trap so obey speed restrictions. On your left will be a small plaza with a Dunkin Donuts and Hayward’s deli (845) 753-2016 that makes good sandwiches.  A short distance further will be Route 17A.  Turn left, and continue to CR 84|Long Swamp Rd, where you will turn left again.  There is a pullout on the right a short distance up the road alongside this lake.

Stillwell Woods {Nassau County}  Take Route 25A east past route 106 until you pass the nursery. At the next intersection where Route 25A veers to the left, turn right into Cold Spring Road. Proceed until a road branches off half-left. Take this road, Southwoods Road, until you see the school property at your right. Turn left into the parking lot. Drive past the ball fields and park in the back. The preserve is beyond the gate.  

Sunrise Mountain (New Jersey)  Take I-80 in New Jersey to Route 15, then follow it. Continue as it turns into Route 206. After passing Culver Lake watch for a right turn with a pointer to the mountain. Shortly after making that turn, turn half left into the road leading to the destination. 

Sweet Briar Preserve {Suffolk County}  Take Sunken Meadow Parkway to Jericho Turnpike. Drive east into Smithtown. Turn left on Edgewood Avenue, then left on Landing Avenue, and another left on Eckerkamp Drive. Watch for parking lot sign.

Target Rock NWR {Suffolk County}  Follow directions given for Caumsett State Park but continue straight ahead into the refuge.

Teatown Lake Reservation {Westchester County}  Take the Taconic Parkway to Route 133 and turn west, then right turn on Spring Valley Road.

Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary {Nassau County}  From route 25, 25A, I-495, or Northern State Parkway, take route 106 north into Oyster Bay. Turn right on Cove Road and go two miles till you find the cemetery parking lot at your right. Park and walk east along Cove Road to the sanctuary entrance. 

Tiffany Creek {Nassau County}  From route 25, 25A, I-495, or Northern State Parkway, take route 106 north into Oyster Bay. Turn right on East Main street and drive past the school. Do not turn here but look for a right turn shortly thereafter into Sandy Hill Road. The sanctuary entrance is on the right.

TIMBER POINT GOLF COURSE {Suffolk County}  In recent years some raritis have shown up here including Ruff and Dovekie. From last exit on Southern State/Hechscher Pkwy, go east on Timber Point Road // River Road to jxn w/ Great River Road. 

Uplands Farm of The Nature Conservancy {Suffolk County}  Take route 25A east past fish hatchery. Bear right into route 108 but turn left immediately into Lawrence Hill Road. Entrance is on the right at 0.4 mile.

Van Cortlandt Park {Bronx County}  Take Major Deegan Expressway to Van Cortlandt South. Turn east and left at next light. Park in Golf Course lot.

WARD-POUND RIDGE RESERVATION { Westchester County}  Breeding Louisiana Waterthrush, Pine and  Worm-eating Warbler. Take the Hutchinson River Parkway to I-684 and drive to exit 6 Katonah / Cross River - Route 35 East. Turn right and follow route 35 into Cross River. Turn right on route 121. Park entrance is immediately on left side. Admission Fee after 8am.  

Welwyn Preserve {Nassau County}  From I-495, exit 39N, go 5.2 miles north on Glen Cove Road. Bear left at the fork and continue to end of road (at the firehouse). Turn right. Turn left on Desoris Lane. Turn left on New Woods Road and drive to the end. Turn right. Entrance is on your right.

Wertheim NWR {Suffolk County}  Take Long Island Expressway to exit 67 and go south on Yaphank  Road. At the Horse Block Road intersection bear half left toward Montauk Highway. Turn left on Montauk Highway and right on Old Beaver Road which turns into Smith Road. Entrance is on the right.