These gardens, woodlands, wetlands, and a meadow in New York City attract warblers, hawks, woodpeckers, sparrows, mockingbirds, and other winged visitors.
By Shari Romar | Published: 12/22/2011
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.
In spring, I’ve watched Hermit Thrushes and Hooded Warblers grab a snack off the plants in the Woodland Garden. In summer, Baltimore Orioles and Cedar Waxwings bathe in the water features.
Last autumn I found my first American Woodcock on a lunchtime excursion near the Wetland Garden.
Queens Botanical Garden is a great spot for beginning birders and children, as birds tend to be rather used to people. Our gardeners have almost tripped over Gray Catbirds, and one October afternoon the Golden-crowned Kinglets were so thick that one perched on my shoe! Even when the birds seem to hide, visitors are enthralled to see the precise work of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers on trees in the arboretum.
Another benefit: great nearby restaurants. Where else can you spend a morning looking at hawks, woodpeckers, Killdeer, and mockingbirds, and then follow up with a tasty dim sum lunch? — Shari Romar
Shari Romar is the new media manager at Queens Botanical Garden and a freelance writer and photographer. She also leads bird walks at the garden.
At a Glance
Click on the coordinates below to view location:
Themed gardens, historic plantings, woodland, wetlands, and meadow.
Flat with paved walkways. Wheelchair-accessible.
Year-round: American Goldfinch, American Robin, Blue Jay, Canada Goose, Carolina Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, House Finch, Northern Cardinal, Northern Flicker, Northern Mockingbird, Red-tailed Hawk, and Ring-necked Pheasant. Migrants: Baltimore Oriole, Barn Swallow, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Chipping Sparrow, Common Yellowthroat, Gray Catbird, Yellow-rumped, Canada, Black-and-white, and other warblers, Great Egret, Golden- and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Killdeer, Brown Creeper, Brown Thrasher, Red-winged Blackbird, and Song Sparrow. Fall and winter: White-throated Sparrow abundant, Black-capped Chickadee common.
When to go
Free bird walks. Visitor center has water fountains, restrooms, and gift store. Vending machines also on site.
Publicly owned botanical garden. Open November through March, Tuesdays through Sundays, 8-4:30; April through October, Tuesdays through Sundays, 8-6. Closed Mondays. Fees: April through October, $4, adults; $3, seniors; $2, students with ID and children over 3 years of age; November through March, free. Street parking or seasonal parking for a fee in the Parking Garden.
Much of garden is in full sun, especially in summer; wear a hat or use sunscreen.
For more info
Kissena Corridor Park
Extends east from Queens Botanical Garden into Kissena Park farther east. Many trails and ponds. Ring-necked Pheasant, Wood Duck, Connecticut Warbler, Lark Sparrow.
About 4.5 miles southeast of botanical garden on Francis Lewis Blvd. Warblers, vireos, buntings, and other migrants in spring and fall.