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   (Animal Rehabber)

New York Tide Chart

Urban Park Rangers

NY State Parks

Birdcast (Migration Reports)


Beginner’s Guide

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Bird Arrivals

Mid March (11-20)- Gannet, Black-crowned Night Heron, Snow Goose, Turkey Vulture, Piping Plover, Wilson's Snipe, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Flicker, Phoebe, Fish Crow, American Pipit, Meadowlark, Cowbird

Late March (21-31) DC 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, Sapsucker, Creeper, Hermit Thrush, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Pine Warbler, "Yellow" Palm Warbler, Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, White-throat, Swamp Sparrow

Mid April- Snowy Egret, Green Heron, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Clapper Rail, Virginia Rail, Sora, Upland Sandpiper, Rough-winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, Purple Martin, Gnatcatcher, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush

All photos and text by Jack Rothman.

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

Updated 3/21/19

Copyright 2019

One of our walkers, Carleen Murdock, is having a show of her work on our favorite topic, everyone is invited! Official Opening March 24.

Official NYC Audubon Walks in Pelham Bay Park Every Sunday beginning March 24 through June 30!

Here’s a list of the upcoming walks in Pelham Bay Park for March and April:

All walks listed below meet in the Orchard Beach Parking lot at 9:00 in the NW corner. All walks are free! Walks will continue in Pelham Bay Park every Sunday through June 30.

One of the three “J’s” will be your guide... Joe, Jeff or Jack

March 24- Joe McManus

March 31- Jack

April 7- Joe McManus

April 14- Jack

April 21- Joe McManus

April 28 Jeff Ward

Van Cortlandt Park - Saturdays through July 20

Beginning April 27 with Jack

For more information check the NYC Audubon page: http://www.nycaudubon.org

On April 17, we will have our first Advanced Birdwalk. For this walk we will be more focused and hope it will appeal more to experienced birders. Please go to the NYC Audubon website for information.

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

This is the time of the year to look for the American Woodcock. They’re really hard to find in the woods as they’re camouflage is amazing

I can’t wait for spring and the migration, when beautiful warblers, like this Blackburnian, will be around!

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.             

“The difference between a beginning birder and an experienced one is that beginning birders have misidentified few birds. Experienced birders have misidentified thousands.”

Pete Dunne

Yes, in a month or so, birds like this Blackpoll Warbler will be here! This fellow was behind the City Island bridge.

This American Oystercatcher nested in the sand at Orchard Beach. The gulls got its eggs and the bird was gone. They usually nest out on the jetty and on one of the rocky outcrops off Hunter Island. They should be there very soon.

City Island Birds
Since 2007