Sanderling at Nickerson Beach.

A Killdeer near the Orchard Beach Oval.

Common Tern chicks at Nickerson Beach.

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Semipalmated Plover probably taken at Turtle Cove. They usually migrate through in late summer-early fall.

Forster's Tern on the bridge railing at Turtle Cove in July.

A flock of Dunlin probably photographed at Jamaica Bay. We usually don't get them here, in Pelham Bay Park.

All photos and text by Jack Rothman. All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission.Copyright 2022

          Updated 7/24/22

City Island Birds

                          Since 2007

Welcome to City Island Birds. My name is Jack Rothman. I created this website and birding club because this area of New York City is little known and underutilized by birdwatchers and other nature lovers. Pelham Bay Park, with its woods and wetlands is a critical stopover and nesting area to many migratory species.

Birding News

City Island Birds was created in 2007 to bring birders, and would be birders, to the park. Everyone has always been and always will be welcome. Our walks are always inclusive, friendly, non-competitive, fun and free. We all love to see great birds, but without each other, it's never as enjoyable.

Saul's Science Watch

My birding buddy Saul has been writing wonderful science articles for the Hudson River Audubon Society. You can link for years of wonderful insights and information. Just scroll to the bottom of the page for a complete list of the articles.

A Piping Plover chick, well camouflaged, at Nickerson Beach. This year, Piping Plovers were seen at Orchard Beach.

Shorebirds are On the Move!

With both the spring migration and nesting season over, most birds are laying low for the summer. On really hot days birds will stay cool by hiding and really limiting their movement. They are also avoiding predators, gaining weight for the fall migration and staying out of the direct sun. They are hardly singing as this gives away their location. Early morning bird walks will yield some common nesting species, perhaps a Carolina Wren, a Gray Catbird, many American Robins, Tree and Barn Swallow and other everyday species. By the end of the month we will begin to see shorebird movement as the very early fall migrants begin to head south. if we are lucky, some will stop over in the puddles that form in the Orchard Beach Parking Lot after a good rainfall. I refer to them as "Puddle Birds." In 2017 we had an amazing year, with many shorebird species stopping over.

As I write this, lots of terrific shorebirds are at Jamaica Bay's East Pond. If you want to see shorebirds now, this is the place to go. Some great birds have been reported, Stilt Sandpipers, Black-headed and Bonaparte Gulls, Hudsonian Godwit, Long-billed Dowitcher, Pectoral Sandpipers, White-faced Ibis, Western Sandpiper, Semi-palmated and Least Sandpipers, both Yellowlegs and lots more. If you go, be prepared for direct sun, no place to sit and possible very muddy conditions. The best birds now seem to be on the north end but the walking is definitely easier on the south end. Be sure to bring a hat, water, sunscreen etc. It's best to go in the early morning about 2 hours before high tide.The early tides are looking good for this week, beginning 7/25.

Jack's talk , "The Joy Of Birding"

On March 26, 2022, I did a Zoom talk for the Crestwood Historical Society. If you would like to view it, it is available on YouTube, Just link here.

Walk Announcements

Our last walk was terrific. You can link above, Recent Sightings, to see our species account. We should be having another walk soon.

  Avoid Orchard Beach Parking Fees! Link Here.

Five Quick Beginning Birding Suggestions

1. Go out with a group or an experienced leader. You'll learn how to use binoculars, find birds, meet interesting and friendly people.

2. Wear appropriate clothes. Weather is always a little more extreme in open spaces. Don't wear your brand new $200 running shoes. It can be muddy.

3. Most leaders have binoculars to lend if you don't have your own. Opera glasses are pretty useless for birding. If you want to buy a pair, email me and I will make suggestions depending on your budget.

4. Bring a snack and water. Most walks are a few hours. You'll see that birding is not fast walking. Expect to be moving slowly.

5. Get a portable field guide to bring with you when you bird alone. Use it at home too. Look for the Peterson or Sibley guide.

A Piping Plover, taken at Nickerson Beach in the summer.