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New York State Birding Trail

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Birding is a multigenerational activity that can be done by anyone, regardless of age, ability or background, anywhere in New York. Explore new outdoor recreation opportunities by checking out a great birding location near you.

The New York State Birding Trail is not a physical trail, but "connects" all of the best birding locations in regions across the state. Learn more about the trail, bird watching, and find other resources below.

Map of Trail

Use the map below or this list of the Birding Trail Locations, with links to site pages for more information, to find a location near you. The Google Map can also be accessed via the Google Maps website.

The NYC region is the first segment of the trail to be completed. Other segments of the trail will be rolled out in a phased, regional approach and will be announced as they are completed.

Birding Resources

Birdwatching or birding is an easy way to enjoy the outdoors and does not require a lot to get started! A pair of binoculars (leaves DEC website), a birding checklist or a downloadable application like e-bird or Merlin (links leave DEC website) can be helpful to document what you see, and a destination are all you may need. You can start right in your neighborhood or use the Google Map link above to find your next birding location.

I Bird NY Challenges

Take the 2021 I Bird NY Challenges! There is a Beginner Challenge and an Experienced Birder Challenge that is open to anyone in New York State. Once you find 10 different bird species, mail the form back to the DEC and you could win a prize! Check out the Beginner's Guide to Birding, available in English and Spanish.

Upcoming birding events

Looking for programming and other opportunities to go birdwatching? Head to the I Bird NY events section to find an event near you, or use DEC's event calendar.

Backyard birding

One of the best things about birding is that you can do it anywhere! Birds can be seen in our neighborhoods, around schools, and work places so there's always a chance to practice your birding skills. You can see a wider variety of birds in your backyard by creating a better bird habitat (leaves DEC website).

Breeding Bird Atlas

Birders of all backgrounds are invited to participate from 2020 to 2024 in the New York State Breeding Bird Atlas to help conduct statewide inventory of all the birds breeding in the state. A Breeding Bird Atlas occurs every 20 years in New York. The third atlas will continue to improve our understanding of changes in the distribution of breeding birds in the state and provide the basis for more informed conservation and management of birds and their habitats.

Birdability

Birding truly is for everybody regardless of ability or other health concerns. Learn more about Birdability (leaves DEC website) and see a map of accessible birding locations with details of their accessibility features. Learn more about becoming a more welcoming and inclusive birder, and more. For more accessible recreation locations, check out DEC's Accessible Recreation destinations.

Educational resources for kids and educators

Use some of the following resources to enhance your outdoor recreation and birding adventures:

Share the Shore!

Nesting birds on the beach need our help to survive. Learn how (leaves DEC website) we can protect nesting Shorebirds while we are out birding.

Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and Bird Conservation Areas and Program Sites

Many of New York's best and biologically rich landscapes are in danger. These sites have been designated as Important Bird Areas (leaves DEC website). New York developed the Bird Conservation Area Program in 1997 to enhance bird populations and their habitats on state lands and waters. The goal of the Bird Conservation Area (BCA) Program is to integrate bird conservation interests into agency planning, management and research projects, within the context of agency missions.

Partners and Links

The New York State Birding Trail is made possible by a joint effort of many partners, including:

nys dec, nys parks, national park service and nyc parks logos

Additional links and resources

In addition to state-owned and managed locations, other publicly and privately managed locations are able to compete simple self-nomination process to be considered for inclusion on the trail. Sites all meet criteria to ensure a positive experience for visitors throughout the state. Review the nomination guidelines (PDF) and use Nomination form (PDF) to be considered for inclusion on the trail.

This land, which was once the territory of the Lenape and Munsee nations, is now home to people from throughout the world, including descendants of those original inhabitants. Consider how indigenous people lived, and continue to live, in relationship with the natural world.

Some links below leave DEC's website.

#BlackBirdersWeek promotes diversity and takes on racism in the outdoors. This initiative aims to boost recognition and representation of Black people enjoying birding and the natural world.

The Feminist Bird Club is dedicated to promoting inclusivity in birding while fundraising and providing a safe opportunity for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, BIPOC, and women to connect with the natural world.

Looking for other birding trails to explore? Check out some of these:

Donate toward improving New York's habitat and increasing access for fish and wildlife recreation by purchasing a Habitat/Access Stamp.


More about New York State Birding Trail: