All photos and text by Jack Rothman
All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission.
Updated 8/16/17
Copyright 2017

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.

City Island Birds
Since 2007

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   (Animal Rehabber)

New York Tide Chart

Urban Park Rangers

NY State Parks

Birdcast (Migration Reports)


Beginner’s Guide

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 really good pair for less than $200. Years ago, there wasn’t nearly as much choice. You should link here for ratings.

Birding Advocacy

Home           Contact         About

This is a Baird’s Sparrow, a rare visitor to our area. The photo was taken at dusk as he was foraging in a shallow puddle. He was very cooperative and let me get pretty close for the photo. Richard Aracil found this bird and I bolted from my dinner table to Orchard Beach to see it.

The water is almost gone but that didn’t stop this Lesser Yellowlegs from feeding. Most of the birds favor the puddles in the northwest corner.

This is a highly cropped photo of a flock of about 70 shorebirds I saw flying over the Orchard Beach Parking Lot. When I got them on my computer, I was able to identify them as Semipalmated Plovers.

A Pectoral Sandpiper, right at the edge of the puddle.

Our trip to see Cuban Endemic Birds

My wife Jane and I spent two weeks in Cuba with three friends, a bird tour guide and driver, searching and learning about Cuban endemic birds, meeting the Cuban people and soaking up as much of Cuba as we could.  I’ve put together a bunch of photos if you’re interested. I’ve broken the photos into sections, so you can skip the parts you may not be interested in seeing. If you want to see it all, just start at the beginning and it will flow from one section to another.

Section 1- Birds

Section 2- People, Landscapes

Section 3- All of Us

Section 4- Fabulous Cars                  

One of a few Short-billed Dowitchers wading through a deeper puddle.

A flock of mostly Semipalmated Sandpipers taking off.

The Orchard Beach Puddles!

As you probably already know, the rain puddles in the Orchard Beach Parking lot have become feeding areas for migrating shorebirds. In the past week or so we’ve seen Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper and Baird’s Sandpiper, a rare species for this area. In addition there are Short -billed Dowitchers, Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs and Semi-palmated Plovers. The birds frequent these shallow puddles when the tide is high and they can’t feed on the mud flats. The shorebird migration is in full force and this is a good opportunity to see them with little discomfort. Generally a trip to Jamaica Bay is in order this time of the year but it’s muddy and hot there. How convenient to be able to see these terrific birds up so close and on asphalt ! If you’re quiet and stay low, you get close enough for some terrific photos.


A Least Sandpiper. They look very much like Semipalmated Sandpipers in size, however they have greenish-yellowish legs and are more rufous above. They seem to prefer the edges of the puddles rather than the middle.

Orchard Beach Puddle Walk for Shorebirds

Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Meet at Rodman’s Neck

Link for details