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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A Red-breasted Nuthatch, a really beautiful bird. This photo was taken at NYBG but you can find them foraging in the seed cones in the trees near the Nature Center at Orchard Beach.

Northern Harriers have been seen over the Orchard Beach Lagoon lately. There’s usually one over the landfill in the Southern Zone of the Park.

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.


A Common Loon, taken in the water off Orchard Beach on one November 24. They should be here again very soon.


The faded color of the winter American Goldfinch. I think it’s just as beautiful now as when it’s in breeding plumage.

All photos and text by Jack Rothman

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

Updated 11/13/18

Copyright 2018


A male Bufflehead. They are back already, can winter be far behind?

Where are the Cedar Waxwings? Every year I find them in the tree behind the Turtle Cove Bridge but I haven’t seen them yet. This photo was taken on Nov. 16, a couple of years ago.

On November 12 of last year, we found this Black-headed Gull in the parking lot. It’s a pretty rare gull here and is found along the Atlantic Coast in Northern Canada. In it’s breeding plumage, it has a very dark brown hood. Note its red legs and the black smudges on its head.

Jack’s Upcoming Walks

Coming Soon!

I’m getting a schedule together for more walks in Pelham Bay Park.

There will be a “Duck Walk” as soon as they come in, which should be soon. Also an easy walk to look for wintering species. We haven’t done the walk to Split Rock in a long time, which is both for birds and a bit of history. I will post upcoming walks and, of course, send out notifications to those on the distribution list.

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 birdwalk 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

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