Hotspots Near You

  • 209. Sterling Nature Center, Sterling, New York

    A rich diversity of habitats draws me to Sterling Nature Center year after year. Two miles of lakeshore gently rise into sandy dunes and a maritime forest, and a mixed hardwood forest, complete with tangled hanging vines, berry bushes, and an occasional apple tree, provides lots of bird-friendly spaces. The property is reminiscent of the more famous Magee Marsh in Ohio and Point Pelee in Ontario.

  • 194. Chestnut Ridge Hawk Watch, Mt. Kisco, New York

    In most years, observers at Chestnut Ridge record the highest raptor totals of any autumn watch in New York State. The site’s biggest attraction is the sometimes-spectacular Broad-winged Hawk migration in mid- to late September. Chestnut Ridge also gets good numbers of Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks a little later in the season, Red-shouldered Hawks in late October and early November, and Golden Eagles and goshawks from late October through November.

  • 182. Alley Pond Park, Queens, New York

    Alley Pond Park is a great change of pace from New York City’s more popular hotspots. I particularly like going in spring to escape the throngs of birders at Central Park.

  • 141. Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, New York

    Managed grasslands flourish in the spaces between the unused runways at Floyd Bennett Field, creating a haven for kestrels, sparrows, and other open-country birds.

  • 130. Queens Botanical Garden, Flushing, New York

    I spend part of nearly every lunch hour and some evenings scouting the botanical garden, a perfect site for a full day or just an hour of birding. Its varied habitats attract birds in all seasons.

  • 109. Sterling Forest State Park, Tuxedo, New York

    I became hooked on Sterling Forest in May 2003, when I saw 29 warbler species on one fantastic spring day. Now whenever anyone asks where they can see Cerulean or Golden-winged Warblers, I send them here. It’s the best spot in the region for the birds.

  • 69. Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, New York

    The 1,146 acres of Van Cortlandt Park have been a favorite destination of mine for many years in all seasons. They offer a great change of pace from life in the big city with relatively easy access. I have seen at least 185 species of birds here over the last 20 years.

  • 68. Noblewood Park, Willsboro, New York

    On the eastern edge of New York’s vast Adirondack Park, and 50 minutes by car and ferry from Burlington, Vermont, Noblewood Park ranks for me as the premier birding hotspot in the Champlain Valley, which itself is a major hotspot. Noblewood became accessible to birders in 1999, when the Nature Conservancy deeded the property to the town of Willsboro.