Twelve new locations have been added to the New York State Birding Trail. These new locations bring the total number of birding trail locations across the state to 344 and provide a wide variety of quality birding experiences for everyone, regardless of age, ability, identity, or background.
Birdwatching has become one of New York’s fastest-growing recreation and tourism activities. DEC manages the New York State Birding Trail in collaboration with partners that include the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks). The statewide trail network includes promoted birding locations that can be accessed by car or public transportation, providing an inclusive experience for all visitors to enjoy birds amid beautiful natural settings with little or no cost or investment in equipment.
The new locations are located on public and private lands across the state:
- Central-Finger Lakes: Baltimore Woods Nature Center (Onondaga County)
- Greater Niagara:
- Amherst Veterans Canal Park (Erie County)
- Eight locations within the City of Buffalo (Erie County)
- Cazenovia Park
- Delaware Park
- Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park
- Ship Canal Commons/Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park
- South Park / Buffalo Botanical Gardens
- Unity Island
- Broderick Park
- Bird Island Pier
- Long Island: Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center (Nassau County)
- Southern Tier: Audubon Community Nature Center (Chautauqua County)
Now is an exciting time for birding with fall migration underway, and these new additions provide visitors with unique experiences, from large preserves and nature centers with diverse habitats to urban oases steeped in history and teeming with wildlife. As birds make their way back to their wintering homes, a favorite birding site can change within a few days, with different species traveling in and out of a region.
The New York State Birding Trail map is available at the New York State Birding webpage and provides valuable information on each site such as location, available amenities, species likely to be seen, directions, and more. Digital information on the Birding Trail is being updated periodically.
DEC encourages birding enthusiasts to visit I Bird NY for more information on where and how to observe birds, upcoming bird walks, a downloadable Beginner’s Guide to Birding (PDF) (available in Spanish (PDF)), and additional resources.
DEC also reminds New Yorkers to turn off nighttime lights during fall migration. The Lights Out’ initiative is aimed at keeping non-essential outdoor lighting from affecting the ability of birds to migrate successfully. Many species of shorebirds and songbirds rely on constellations to help them navigate to and from their summer breeding grounds through the State. Excessive outdoor lighting, especially in adverse weather conditions, can cause these migrating birds to become disoriented.
In addition to State-owned and managed locations for the Birding Trail, publicly and privately managed sites can complete a simple self-nomination process to be considered for inclusion on the trail. Nominations are reviewed and added to the Birding Trail on a quarterly basis. For information on the nomination process and the updated form and guidelines, see the New York State Birding webpage.
New segments of the Birding Trail were opened in a phased approach from October 2021 through August 2022. DEC continues to solicit input from a wide range of New Yorkers and organizations that represent Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and is making trail information available in both English and Spanish. Bird walks will be held in collaboration with organizations working with BIPOC communities.
Read more New York Almanack stories about birds and birding in New York State.