A male Gadwall on the edge of Hunter Island. You can really appreciate their beauty when they're out of the water.

Just about every year we get one or two Barred Owls in our park. This one stayed for many weeks.

Common Goldeneye are usually very far out viewed from the "lookout" on Hunter Island or from Twin Island. They can be seen now.

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

This is a male Hooded Merganser. He puts his hood up to attract females. They used to be quite common at Turtle Cove but not so much anymore.

On December 5, 2021, this Snowy Owl was easily seen from the north side of Hunter Island. It was on a small rock outcropping, called Danny Hat Island. It remained until dusk and was gone by the next morning. Digiscoped photo by Gerry McGee

A Red-throated Loon off Orchard Beach. Compare the field marks to the Common Loon below.

Both Common and Red-throated Loon can be seen around the waters off Orchard Beach and Hunter Island. This is a Common Loon in non-breeding plumage.

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

          Updated 1/10/22

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.

Don't Feed the Wildlife !

Many different kinds of animals are in the park besides birds. Everone has seen the deer and many are surprised and frightened when the deer get too close. That happens because some people have been feeding them. This is a terrible mistake. People need to be reminded that deer are wild and can become agressive, especially during rutting season. People have been feeding other mammal species as well. If these animals come too close, or become agressive, Parks Department will likely have to eradicate them.  During the winter, many of us enjoy feeding birds. Actually, birds have been surviving without our help for a very long time through the winter. They really don't need our handouts but it definitely is fun to feed them.

The Winter Migration

The best birds to find now are likely in the waters around the park. Use your binoculars, or better yet, a scope, to find great waterfowl. The lookouts on the north side of Hunter Island are a good place to find these waterfowl. Winter passerines have been slow to filter in but as soon as some colder weather arrives, we should be seeing more of them.

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.

Horned Grebe are finally here.This one was photographed opposite Turtle Cove in Eastchester Bay a few years ago.

A Canvasback duck in Eastchester Bay off City Island a few years ago. I've heard they were hundreds to be seen here in the 1970's and 80's. Now were are lucky to see one or two a season.

Where are the Passerines?

I can't help wondering, where are all the chickadees, nuthatches, and titmouse? During the winter last year they were all over Hunter island and the surrounding areas. This year I've hardly seen any. I was assuming it was because of the warmer weather but now that it has turned much colder, I haven't seen any change. In past years we've seen thousands of Greater Scaup in the surrounding waters, but this year there are far fewer. There are far fewer waterfowl here in general. The winter's far from over and I hope we see more of what really seems to be missing.

Because of Covid I've been hesitant to call a walk. If the numbers of Covid cases decrease and the numbers of birds increase, we should definitely find a good weather day for a walk.

Results of the Bronx-Westchester 2021 Christmas Count

Check out photos of All of Us through the years.