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


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

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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 8/17/19

Copyright 2019

To my amazement, there were  a few Whimbrels foraging in the same puddles.

Walks to Begin In Early September

The Fall Migration Begins

The fall migration has begun! Shorebirds are being seen at the Orchard Beach Oval in the puddle formed by the leaky pipe. If you go, spend a few minutes with your binoculars, small peeps and larger species are often hidden in the grass. Songbird migration has also begun. Some species are being seen in Central Park. As time passes these next two months, the migration will peak and finally wane in late October.

NYC Audubon Walks will begin in Pelham Bay Park on September 8 and will continue every Sunday until December 8. Our first walk on September 8 will meet at Rodman’s Neck from 9:00-10:30. All walks afterwards, will begin in the Orchard Beach Parking Lot. I will be adding more of my own winter walks as we get closer. Winter is a good time for owls and waterfowl.

Walks will also begin in Van Cortlandt park on September 7 and will continue until Nov. 23 from 9:00-10:30. Because of the work on the Putnam Trail, we will meet in the parking lot next to the Horse Stables. The entrance is on Broadway and Mosholu Ave. You can park in the free lot if you are coming by car. If you are coming on the #1 train connect to the Bus at 242nd St. and take it North. Walk into the park and you will see the parking lot; it is about 200 feet from the street.

Walk leaders will be Joe, Jeff and Jack for Pelham Bay Park.

At Van Cortlandt, Joe, Nadir and Jack will lead.

i will be sending out emails to remind everyone when it gets close.


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

A rarity for here was a Baird’s Sandpiper in one of the puddles at the beach.

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.

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

There are usually Semipalmated Sandpipers around during migration.

Short-billed Dowitchers were also fairly common in the puddle.

A Lesser Yellowlegs in August at Orchard Beach.

Good light, close birds and relative comfort attracted a lot of photographers throughout the season.