Brooklyn may be a big and noisy city, but it’s home to more wildlife than you’d expect. Brooklyn boasts a vibrant birdwatching community that explores the borough for unique winged creatures. And birders are finding a lot more than pigeons — Brooklyn is home to parrots, hawks, raptors, warblers, and a whole lot more. If you’re interested in becoming a serious birder, or just want to spend an afternoon exploring some unexpected wildlife on your visit, here are the best resources, organizations, and places to start with.
Brooklyn Birding Map by The City Birder.
The Brooklyn Bird Club, The City Birder, and The New York City Audubon Society
The best place to begin is the Brooklyn Bird Club. The organization has been around for over 100 years and hosts regular birding excursions throughout the borough. The walks are led by experts who are on the lookout for rare, seasonal, and migrating species. Check their calendar for upcoming events.
The City Birder is another great blog to follow that lists events and tours, rare bird sightings in New York, and wildlife news around the city. The City Birder offers weekly tours at both Prospect Park and Green-Wood Cemetery.
Finally, the New York City Audubon Society’s website has a helpful list of resources for both beginning and advanced birders. The society hosts events and adventures year round, and offers great advice on the best times to go birding and what you’ll find at certain parks.
A Magnolia Warbler | via Prospectpark.org
Prospect Park is easily the most popular birding destination in Brooklyn, either to go with a group or on your own. Both the Brooklyn Bird Club and City Birder host regular guided walks through the park. Prospect Park even has a dedicated Audubon Center, introducing visitors to the park’s diverse natural habitats. Read about the park’s birding guidelines, and keep up with the birds who call Prospect Park home at the Prospect Park Bird Sightings blog. Check the NYC Audubon for advice on where best to look for birds in Prospect Park on your own.
Monk Parrots at Green-Wood Cemetery | via 1000birds.com
Green-Wood is another popular destination for birders, as many birds migrate through the cemetery on their journey from as far as South America to their breeding grounds in Canada. The cemetery is also home to monk parrots, which you will find flying around South Brooklyn. (Learn more about the Brooklyn parrots or sign up for a parrot safari right here.) For the best places to explore and find birds in Green-Wood Cemetery, visit the New York City Audubon site or check out the Green-Wood birding map.
Red-tailed Hawk at Brooklyn Botanic Garden | Ann Feldman via City Birder
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Located just east of Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden shares much of the rich wildlife you’ll find in the park. The BBG hosts a number of bird walks through the gardens, which are free with admission. A birder behind the blog BirdingAroundNYC also hosts regular tours around BBG, free with admission. As for exploring on your own, the Audubon Society also offers tips.
That’s not all for birding opportunities around Brooklyn! Check out The City Birder’s Brooklyn map for more locations, which include Dead Horse Bay, Floyd Bennett Field, and Owls Head Park.