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

Home           Contact         About

All photos and text by Jack Rothman.

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

Updated 2/7/20

Copyright 2020

Slow Birding for February so far...

It’s been a warm and rainy winter so far. There seem to be fewer passerines this year. Nuthatches, Chickadee and Titmouse numbers seem to be down. We do have some interesting waterfowl, but the numbers also seem to be down. It was only a few years ago when we saw thousands of Greater Scaup in the water off Hunter Island. Can we attribute the lower numbers this season to the warmer weather? When lakes freeze up north, ducks and other waterfowl come south for open water. I don’t believe there’s been much freezing and it’s possible that’s why we have lower numbers. In almost every winter for the almost 30 years I’ve been birding the park we see Barred, Long-eared and Saw-whet owls. So far there haven’t been any. On last year’s Christmas count, our group at Rodman’s Neck had three Barred Owls, this year there were none! The tree where the Great Horned owls nested on Hunter’s Island is down and although I’ve seen the owls I haven’t found their nesting cavity. The good news is that it’s February and soon it will be spring and migration. I’m hoping that our weekly walks will resume in March. If birding picks up a bit, maybe a February walk too.


Watch this video all about us 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

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

These Snow Geese were mixed into a flock of Canada Geese

“Hoodies” or Hooded Merganser were recently spotted in Turtle Cove Pond.

No American Widgeon in the park thus far. This photo was taken on January 6, 2013.

This is the Winter walk in 2016 with some members of the Brooklyn Birding Club.

If you find a sick or injured bird, call The Wild Bird Fund. 917-846-4357 or link to Wild Bird Fund.

We had a large group of 25 or so birders for our first winter walk of 2020. Here we are scoping off Twin Island.

A male Gadwall. The feathering on this bird is beautiful.

If you hang around the parking lot long enough, you might get to see Peregrine Falcons bathing in the puddles.