Located in the Bronx, New York, City Island is a small island, approximately one mile long and a quarter mile wide. City Island is surrounded by Eastchester Bay on one side and Long Island Sound on the other. Its bridge attaches to a roadway adjacent to Pelham Bay Park, New York City's largest park. In this area, and in the waters and wetlands, in and around City Island, many bird species thrive. Here, several and varied migratory birds are found. This website was created to help study, appreciate, and protect all the birds of this area.

Welcome to City Island Birds. I created this website 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.


Barnacle Goose at Orchard Beach

Jack Rothman


Traveling and Birding the Amazon

Several people have requested information about our trip to the Amazon.

Birding Interest- Past Articles

Important and Useful

The Wild Bird Fund  for injured bird!

New York Tide Chart

Urban Park Rangers

NY State Parks

Birdcast (Migration Reports)


Beginner’s Guide

Birding Advocacy

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All photos and text by Jack Rothman.

All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission.

Updated 3/18/20

Copyright 2020

All Walks are Cancelled.

Let’s hope we can all meet again soon.


Watch this video all about City Island Birds from BronxNet ! You may be in it ! Link Here

If you’re interested in being on our distribution list, just send an email to:

jack@cityislandbirds.com.  We are totally non-commercial and your name and email address won’t be shared with anyone. All walks are free.

Want to know what a bird walk is like? Watch this video done by Rafael Samanez on one of our PBPK walks, if you were there, you may be in it!  Link Here


Approximate dates  for Bird Arrivals in NYS:

Late March (21-31) Double-crested Cormorant, Osprey, Greater Yellowlegs, Laughing Gull, Tree Swallow, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Savannah Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Field Sparrow

Early April (1-10) Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Bittern, Blue- winged Teal, Broad-winged Hawk, Merlin, Pectoral Sandpiper, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Creeper, Hermit Thrush, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler, Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow.

Binocular and Smartphone Help

If you’re not familiar with how your computer or smartphone can help you be a better and more successful birder, you should read my little primer, link here.

If you need or want a new pair of binoculars, you might want to begin here. Binoculars have really changed in the last few years. You can get a fantastic pair for a few hundred dollars and a good pair for less than $200. Years ago, there wasn’t nearly as much choice. You should link here for ratings.

List of Birds at Our Puddle 2017

Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Plover, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Pectoral Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Killdeer, White-rumped Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Black-headed Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Bonaparte’s Gull, Laughing Gull, Peregrine Falcon, Wilson’s Snipe, American Pipit, Merlin, Canada Goose.             

City Island Birds
Since 2007

Also set to arrive soon is the Eastern Bluebird. They are seen occasionally in our park. The best place locally to see them, is Rockefeller State Park in Pleasantville, NY.

A bird I would like to see here is the Piping Plover. Soon they will return to LI locations.

American Woodcock usually arrive in early March. Link to an amusing video, set to music, of an American Woodcock.

Female Red-winged Blackbirds, such as this one, are often confusing for new birders, as they look like large sparrows to some.

If you find a sick or injured bird, call The Wild Bird Fund. 646-306-2862 or link to Wild Bird Fund.

Male Red-winged Blackbirds have already returned to our park. The males arrive early and stake out their territory and the females come soon after. Some Red-winged Blackbirds remain and overwinter after the fall.

I recently saw a male Eastern Towhee in the park. He may be an early arrival or decided never to leave in the fall and overwintered here.

A Pied-billed Grebe has been hanging around the calm water at the entrance to Hunter Island

Two of our crackerjack birders on our last walk.