Male Bobolink photographed in the southern zone of the park along the landfill in spring 2022. They have been see yhis spring too.

All photos and text by Jack Rothman. All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission. Copyright 2024.

                              Updated 5/24/24

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.

Jack's talk , "Pelham Bay Park"

On March 14, 2023, I did a Zoom talk for the Saw Mill River Audubon. If you would like to view it, it is available on YouTube, Just link here.

Watch a City Island Birds birdwalk here,

and another walk here.

A pandemic interview about birding 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 Canada Warbler near the City island Bridge. Note the bold eyering and necklace of this beautiful warbler.


Pine Warblers were here and have now gone further north to nest.

Another bird I missed so far  this spring was the Scarlet Tanager. I usually see a few on Hunter Island.

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites


Upcoming Free Bird Tours


May 26- New York Botanical Garden with Jack

Link to NYC Audubon website for details unless otherwise noted.


More Walks Coming Soon...

A Black-throated Green Warbler at Turtle Cove.

A male Blackpoll Warbler. The photo was taken on the path that is parallel to the shoreline. Walk over the City Island Bridge and turn right to find the path.

A male Chestnut-sided Warbler singing his heart out.

Our most common warbler here in the Bronx is the Yellow Warbler.

A Wood Thrush on Hunter Island. Listen for the beautiful call to find them. They are usually found on the ground or low in the forest.

A Saltmarsh Sparrow in late May a few years ago. This was taken in the mosquito and tick infested area near the golf course. I probably won't go back there. This species is in decline because of rising water.

Baltimore Orioles , like this one, nest in Pelham Bay Park. You can hear them calling from the treetops this time of the year. This photo was taken on Hunter Island in mid-May 2024.

I expected to see many Eastern Phoebes this season but I was disappointed. Very few came through in our park.

A good looking Blue-winged Warbler. We get them in Pelham Bay Park but they nest in Rockefeller State Park.

Names Given To Groups of Birds

Based on History and Literature


From The Verb To Bird, Peter Cashwell (Paul Dry Pub. 2003)


A gaggle of geese ( in water)


A charm of finches


A tidings of magpies


A descent of woodpeckers


A mustering of storks


A parliament of owls


A host of sparrows


A siege of herons


An unkindness of ravens


A cast of hawks


An ostentation of peacocks


A murder of crows


A walk of snipe