Every now and then, the sight of flying birds may catch your attention. Such a random view can remind you of nature’s simple wonders.
While bird watching may be done by chance, there are millions of nature lovers around the world who have taken the fondness of this activity to another level. And by doing so, they also get more benefits and greater satisfaction.
Bird watching, or simply referred to as birding, is becoming a trendy activity for nature-loving individuals, groups, and families. Birding involves the observation of bird species, appearances, activities, and behavior.
There are lots of places for one to conduct birding. One of these is New York City. This bustling metropolis may be known for its skyscrapers, Broadway shows, annual events, flagship stores, and top-ranking businesses but it is also regarded as one of the birding capitals in the world.
Benefits of Birding in General
This activity offers a lot of benefits to both newbie and experienced bird-watchers. Birding watching is not only a hobby but a passion for many people that enables them to relax and to have a good time.
To some, birding is a challenging activity that broadens the mind and sharpens one’s observation and intuitive skills. Veteran bird-watchers don’t just rely on chance when it comes to observing birds. Before they became proficient bird-watchers, they were also beginners who tried to figure which tools, spots, and skills are needed for birding.
Birding is educational, too. It is beneficial to kids and adults alike. Kids don’t learn just about birds alone; they are also introduced to take care of the environment so that these winged creatures can live better. Adults, on the other hand, can learn so much about the activities and behavior of birds and apply them whenever possible. The military is one organization that has benefitted from learning about the behavior of birds. They got the idea of the V formation from flying migratory birds.
Another advantage of birding is that it is an inexpensive hobby. Casual birding only requires binoculars and a field guide. A sophisticated camera is an optional tool for birding.
On a macro level, birding imposes low impact on the environment. It is an activity wherein humans are the ones adjusting, not nature. Structures that require the destruction of natural resources are rarely created for bird-watchers. Instead, some building owners allow bird-watchers to use their rooftops and decks to view birds. There are even establishments where birding scopes are already placed in decks and rooftops.
Birding in New York City
Amidst the towering buildings and paved roads, there are actually a lot of places to do birding in NYC. These places consist of the parks in NYC’s five boroughs, namely Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.
As a novice bird-watcher, you have a lot of options as to where to conduct your first birding activity.
- The Bronx has the top birding destinations in New York City. The Hudson River Parks, New York Botanical Garden, Van Cortlandt Park, and Pelham Bay Park are can be found there. New York Botanical Garden is highly revered even by non-bird watchers. Meanwhile, Van Cortlandt Park and Pelham Bay Park are regarded as two of the largest birding spots in the Bronx.
- In Staten Island, you can go to Blue Heron Park, Clove Lakes Park, Northwest Corridor, Long Pond Park, Wolfe’s Pond, High Rock Park, Goethals Pond Complex, Conference House Park, Mount Loretto Preserve, and Great Kills Park.
- Alley Pond Park, Forest Park, and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge are favorite stops of birds and bird-watchers alike in Queens.
- Brooklyn’s representative birding places include Floyd Bennett Field and Dead Horse Bay, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Green-wood Cemetery, and Prospect Park.
- Inwood Park, Riverside Park, and Central Park are famous birding spots in Manhattan.
In addition to the numerous birding spots, there is also a great variety of bird species to see in New York City. This city forms part of the migration route of numerous bird species. Every year, there are 200 species of birds that can be seen resting, eating, and flying in the city. That makes watching birds in NYC a must-do for birding aficionados. Some of the birds have already resided in the place while others are simply stopping by.
If you are planning to travel to NYC for a bird vacation, you will need a great amount of money for the trip. But if you are already residing in or nearby the city, you can easily go to the birding destinations. Bird watching in NYC is made accessible with the help of ferries, buses, and the subway.
Tips to Get an Amazing Birding Experience in New York City
The bulk of your budget for the birding experience in the city will go towards travel expenses. The tools needed, such as birding binoculars and a field guide, don’t have to the most sophisticated ones. When it comes to binoculars, it is always best to get a user-friendly one.
Before going into the field, you should first conduct your research regarding bird species and location. While birding, observe patience. Some birds can be easily located while others take time before they appear in your line of vision.
As a form of giving back, do things that can help and increase awareness of the preservation of birds. This way, you and future bird-watchers have something to look forward to — literally.