Birdwatching is one a very popular hobby on Long Island. With over 400 species of birds, Long Island is a haven to the majestic osprey, piping plover, egrets, double-crested cormorants, a variety of songbirds, hawks, falcons, and many more. Here you will find some of the best places that you would be able to observe a variety of our flying friends.
01. Robert Moses State Park – Fire Island National Seashore
Robert Moses State Park is well known for its sandy beaches and as the entrance to the Fire Island National Seashore, where visitors can stroll past the Fire Island Lighthouse as it stands guard of the central coastland of the Atlantic Coast of New York State. However, Robert Moses, with its pristine sandy beaches is a great place for bird watching as you stroll along the boardwalk on the beach or to stroll through the dwarf pines that sit behind the dunes (this is where you’ll see a Plethora of birds). According to Cornell, there has been over 500 species recorded at Robert Moses!
02. Uplands Farm Sanctuary – Cold Spring Harbor
While visiting the Uplands Farm Sanctuary, visitors will stroll through stands of oak, red maple, black cherry, and other stately trees throughout the meadows. In addition to the lovely greenery you’ll spy grassland birds, which include meadowlarks and bobolinks, as well as the bluebirds that nest int he cozy cavities inside drees that sprawl throughout this sanctuary.
03. Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge – Shirley
Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest tracts of land on Long Island that has been designated as a Wildlife Refuge and is the largest out of the National Wildlife Refuge System on Long Island. The Refuge is split down the middle by the Carmens river, giving the preserve a unique look into rare Pine Barren habitats as well as aquatic habitats.
Here you will find birds that range from Osprey’s, Egrets, Owls, and Bald Eagles to thousands of Waterfowl, including Black Ducks (makes sense since the Robinson Duck Farm used to sit just north-west of the refuge)
04. Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge – Oyster Bay
The Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge covers over 3,000 acres and provides prime habitat for more than 120 bird species. Here you will find double-crested cormorants, forster’s, common terns, and shorebirds. Osprey’s and other raptors, such as Red-Tailed hawks and American kestrels soar through the refuge. Waterfowl like the greater Scaup and Black Ducks tend to stay here throughout the winter months.
05. Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center – Oyster Bay
The Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center was the first Audubon Songbird Sanctuary in the United States. It was founded in 1923 and sits on just 12 acres. It was originally designated as a protected environment to help songbirds that had declining populations due to habitat loss.
Currently the Audubon Center is used for activities for children through adults, with an amazing environmental education program, wildlife research, and more.
06. Mashomack Preserve – Shelter Island
Sitting with over 2,000 acres, Mashomack Preserve has a combination of interlacing tidal creeks, woodlands, fields, and coastline, which makes it a superb wildlife habitat.
Mashomack is currently home to 57 nestboxes dotted around the meadows to help attract pairs of bluebirds which has a 19 year total of 735 baby bluebirds. If you’re not into bluebirds, Mashomack has had 235 reported species from Cornell.
Mashomack Birding Club meets on the first Saturday of each month to go birding. This requires pre-registration. you can call 631-749-4219 or email MashomackPreserve@tnc.org for more information.
07. Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife Wildlife Refuge – Sag Habor
Open Daily and year-round, the Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife REfuge features migratory and resident birds which include the white-breasted nuthatches, blue jays, tufted titmice, and more. During the springtime and fall time, migratory warblers and hawks tend to frequent the refuge.
08. Cold Sprint Harbor State Park – Cold Spring Harbor
With an entrance just off of Main Street, the Cold Spring Harbor State Park is a hotspot for a number of songbirds. In addition, the 40 acres of trails wind down gentle hills provide a home for the Great Horned Owl and Red-Tailed Hawks.