Department of Environmental Conservation

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Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Queens, New York City

Jamaica Bay images: Snowy egret and swans and geese on the water

watchable wildlife binoculars logo

Jamaica Bay is a birder's paradise, one of the largest and best known wildlife viewing areas in the New York City and Long Island region. Witness the annual mating ritual of hundreds of primitive horseshoe crabs, or photograph one
of the more than 330 species of birds seen in this beach, bay and islands wilderness.

Wildlife to Watch

  • Migrating raptors, including ospreys, hawks
  • Barn, short-eared and saw-whet owls
  • Waterbirds, including glossy ibis, egrets, herons, laughing gulls
  • Many varieties of ducks, geese, warblers, songbirds
  • Diamondback terrapins, other native reptiles and amphibians
  • Horseshoe crabs and a wide variety of other shell and finfish

Where to Watch

  • Salt marsh, freshwater and brackish ponds
  • Upland woods and fields
  • Beach, open water and bay islands

Recreational Opportunities

  • Wheelchair-accessible visitor center with exhibits and interpretive programs
  • Five miles of trails
  • Observation blinds
  • Guided nature tours, cruises

Accessible Features

International Symbol of Accessibility

This site has accessible features that include a visitors center. A full list of DEC's accessible recreation destinations is available on the DEC website.


9,155 acres

Closest Town



See Google Maps and enter your address for step by step directions to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (This link will leave the DEC website. Hold "Shift" down while clicking on the link to open in a new window)

Contact Information

Telephone: 718-318-4340
Website: Things To Do - Jamaica Bay (link leaves DEC website)

Photo Credits: Lee Karney, USFWS; National Park Service