All photos and text by Jack Rothman
All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission.
Updated 12/3/17
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

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Cedar Waxwings at Turtle Cove feast on the tree past the bridge. I think most of the ripe berries are gone now.

A beautiful Fox Sparrow in the snow, in the park.

Only a few years ago this Barred Owl hung out in the park for months. It was great being able to find him. The last few years we haven’t seen as many migrating owls as we used to.

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.


Very common but still very pretty, a White-throated Sparrow in winter.


Two Lesser Yellowlegs, still migrating through in late November. The photo was taken at Turtle Cove.

Orchard Beach Puddle Walk for Shorebirds

Link for Photos and results!

     Link to more Puddle Bird Photos

Winter Birding Here

Early morning brings Chickadees, White-throated Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Nuthatches, Woodpeckers and the usual winter species. Interestingly, there remains a bunch of Golden-crowned Kinglets. Much of the action has been in the water. Scoping out from the beach and from the rocks at the end, we find some interesting birds. Both Red-throated and Common Loons are usually easily found. Also three Pied-billed Grebes seem to be enjoying the water off Hunter island. There are a few Scaup out there, lots of Bufflehead, Brant and Red-breasted Mergansers. Also are Black Ducks. If you’re patient and scope long enough, you might find a Long-tailed Duck but they tend to be far off shore. Harbor seals can be scoped, they lounge on the rocks north of the beach. On a clear day you can see them with your binoculars. We’ve spotted the Great Horned Owls but so far no sign or Barred, Saw-whet or Long-eared Owls in our park. I’m thinking it’s been too warm. Snowy Owls have been seen out on Long Island and I’m hoping for one here this winter.

The parking lot appears to be about 75% paved. The puddle at the SW corner remains and that’s where the birds congregate. I don’t know how long that area will remain without being filled and restored. I’m still hoping for some kind of solution for our migrating shorebirds.

                    2017 Bronx-Westchester Christmas Bird Count (East Bronx)

December 23@ 6:30 Breakfast and Assemble

George’s Restaurant

3000 Buhre Avenue

(Corner of Westchester Ave.)

Everyone Welcome!

email me for more info: