The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced the grand opening of the Long Island segment of the New York State Birding Trail to highlight the state’s wide-ranging birding opportunities.
The Long Island segment includes 20 locations throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties, providing a variety of birding experiences for New Yorkers and visitors.
The statewide trail includes a network of promoted birding locations that can be accessed by car or public transportation, providing an inclusive experience for all visitors to enjoy birds amid natural settings with little or no cost or investment in equipment.
From Montauk Point State Park on the tip of Long Island to Hempstead Lake in Nassau, visitors can experience birding at a variety of habitats, including coastal locations like the barrier island ecosystem at Fire Island Lighthouse, where one-third of all North American species have been recorded. Inland sites like Edgewood Oak Brush Plains and Ridge Conservation Area offer multiple opportunities to observe migratory birds and other forest and grassland species. The sandy pine barrens of Rocky Point Pine Barrens State Forest are ideal habitat for woodpeckers, great horned owls, and orioles.
Three National Wildlife Refuge properties with salt marshes and lagoons offer the chance to see waterfowl, raptors, waders, and songbirds. Visiting north shore sites such as Sunken Meadows State Park that has salt marshes where snowy and common egrets, black-crowned night herons, and great blue herons can be seen fishing in the waters of the marsh. Long Island is part of the Atlantic flyway and on the migratory path of a high diversity of bird species.
“Long Island is an important haven for resident and migratory bird species and this latest segment of the New York State Birding Trail brings our partners together to help more communities enjoy an accessible and affordable hobby,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a written statement. “As the statewide Birding Trail continues to take shape, this latest segment will provide new opportunities for Long Islanders to learn about the diversity of birds in our backyards, fields, forests, and shores.”The New York State Birding Trail map is available at: www.ibirdny.org