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.