Top Five Places For Bird Watching On Long Island

Springtime is officially upon us. But we’re not the only ones who are ready to enjoy the nice weather. Our feathery friends are too, and here are some local places where you can spot them on the island.

1. Centennial Gardens

Located in Floral Park, this 12-acre parcel of land serviced the residents of the Village of Floral Park for more than 70 years as an active storm basin. After years of deciding on how to reinvent the active storm basin, the village converted a portion of a storm basin into a bird sanctuary and special planting area.

Centennial Gardens is the perfect place to spot some of your favorite birds including robins, cardinals, starlings, blue jays, morning doves, mockingbirds, gold finches and many more.

Centennial Gardens is open daily and located at 251 Floral Pkwy. in Floral Park.

2. Cold Spring Harbor State Park

Cold Spring Harbor State Park is another great choice to spot birds. The park is comprised of 40-acres of hilly terrain offer scenic views of the Cold Spring Harbor and is also ideal for observing spring and fall migrations of a variety of songbirds. Cold Spring Harbor State Park is home to great horned owls and red-tailed hawks and serves as the northern trailhead of the Nassau Suffolk Greenbelt Trail that extends to Bethpage State.

The Cold Spring Harbor State Park is located at 95 Harbor Rd. in Cold Spring Harbor.

3. Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge is located on the north shore of Long Island, which has 3,209-acres and is designated as a significant coastal fish and wildlife habitat. The refuge is especially important for wintering waterfowl such as black ducks, greater scaup, bufflehead, canvasback and long-tailed ducks. A variety of other water birds including shorebirds, terns and cormorants also use Oyster Bay.

Oyster Bay has the greatest winter waterfowl use of any of the Long Island national wildlife refuges. The numbers of waterfowl using Oyster Bay are lowest from May through August, and start to increase in September and October. The refuge is open to the public, although there is no physical address.

For more information on the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge, call 631-286-0485 or email

4. Garden City Bird Sanctuary

Similar to Floral Park’s Centennial Gardens, Garden City’s Bird Sanctuary was a former storm water basin. After redevelopment of the area, the bird sanctuary is now is a seven-acre community nature preserve and is managed by The Garden City Bird Sanctuary, Inc., a certified nonprofit organization.

Some of the birds that can possibly be seen include the American crow, the Northern cardinal, red-tailed hawk, ruby-throated hummingbird and more.

The main entrance is opposite 181 Tanners Pond Rd. in Garden City.

5. Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife Refuge

The Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge, a 187-acre peninsula on Noyack and Little Peconic Bays, boasts exceptionally diverse habitats. Established in 1954, the Morton National Wildlife Refuge consists of upland forest, fields, ponds, salt marsh, beach and a lagoon. These habitats are used by a variety of wildlife including white-tailed deer, eastern chipmunk, painted turtles, green frogs, songbirds and osprey.

Waterfowl, such as long-tailed duck, common goldeneye and white-winged scoter, are common during the winter months, while piping plover, terns and other water birds use the beach during the spring and summer months.

Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife Refuge is located at 2595 Noyack Rd., in Sag Harbor.