New York Birds: Pictures And Bird Identification Tips

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picture of a bluebird, the state bird of New York, and part of the New York birds series

The New York birds checklist hovers around the five hundred species mark and none other than the Eastern Bluebird wins the title of official state bird. The story of their population decline is now well known with human encroachment on their territory accounting for most of the decline.

And birders said, let their be nest boxes. If you build one, the bluebirds will come, and so they did. It’s a good thing that Bluebirds are avid fans of nest boxes. Males can’t but help show off their blue feathers, a real eye catcher. Females look similar, although their feather colors are a bit more dull.

Residents soon learn that as long as the bluebird’s shelter needs are taken care of, their dietary needs can easily be addressed. They are insectivores that also supplement their diet with fruits and berries.

For a small fee, New York residents can take care of their long term habitat needs by purchasing a Bluebird license plate.

New York City Birds

picture of a golden-crowned kinglet, credit: Melissa Mcmasters Flickr
Many people associate pigeons in the park with urban birding. New York City has its share of pigeons. Perhaps less well known to all but avid birders is that fact that the Big Apple also identifies as a birder’s haven. The official bird list for the New York metropolitan area ranges around the 400 species mark.

Central Park is a great place for birders to start their New York avian adventure. The park’s birders have kept official records of their birds since 1887. Today they list some two hundred fairly common species on a yearly basis plus another 80 rarities.

The park’s year round residents, Blue Jays, Cardinals and a handful of others, have names similar to the year round residents of all Atlantic coastal states. Spring and fall migrations are great times to see the neotropical migrants, including the warblers and raptors. Winter in the park does attract some migrant waterbirds such as ducks and perching birds such as sparrows and kinglets.

Queens, the largest of the five boroughs has a sufficiently diverse complex of ecosystems to host an equally diverse group of birds. Shorebirds galore populate the coastlines of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Water birds, especially ducks, populate the lakes of local parks. Forest birds, especially during the spring migration flock to Forest Park. All these areas are easily accessible by bus and subway for the average New Yorker and tourist.

Birding New York State

picture of a gray jay
A relatively large land mass makes for exciting birding opportunities throughout the state. Finding New York birding hot spots can be as easy as contacting the one of the thirty Audubon chapters in the state.

In the Wester part of the state, for example, Buffalo and Rochester host thriving Audubon chapters with members organizing birding trips and social activities on a weekly or monthly basis. Their proximity to Lake Erie and Lake Ontario translates into their hosting variety of year round water and perching birds, as well as being a summer breeding ground for many neotropical species.

Late April and May marks the beginning of Warbler migration to the Adirondacks. Birding action begins to heat up. Early migrants set the stage for June prime, when areas around the Adirondacks holding week-end birding festivals celebrating their arrival. The mountains and forests of the area makes Boreal birds such as Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, and Boreal Chickadee area specialities. Additionally they are often must have birds on the life lists for many many birders.

Bird pictures and information about New York birds at the species level can be found by clicking the green button at the top of the page.

The New York birds categories below are loosely organized to insure that all the backyard birds and most of the common wild birds are included. Choose a category and begin the adventure.