Grab your binoculars and set out on a nature and/or bird watching trip through Long Island’s wetlands and woods. Long Island is home to a surprising abundance of birds, since it’s on a major migratory route, and it is home to a variety of other wildlife.
Long Island hosts migratory birds, threatened and endangered species and other wildlife at several National Wildlife Refuges including:
Amagansett National Wildlife Refuge
Refuge land is next to public town beach.
Conscience Point National Wildlife Refuge
North Sea (60 acres)
Use by permit only.
Lido Beach National Wildlife Refuge
Long Beach (22acres)
Use by permit only.
Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refugee
Sag Harbor (187 acres)
2595 Noyac Rd, Sag Harbor, NY 11963
Phone: (631) 725-7598
Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Oyster Bay (3,209 acres)
Target Rock National Wildlife Refuge /Rock National Wildlife Refuge
Lloyd Neck (80acres)
This refuge is open to the public and is an extremely popular shore fishing location.
Other nature viewing sites include:
Fire Island National Seashore and estuary is one of the most productive habitats on earth. Over 1/3 of all species of birds found in North America find refuge in the nests of Fire Island, located on the Atlantic migratory flyway.
With over 26 miles of unspoiled beaches, dunes, and nature, you can walk along miles of boardwalk and trails. Easy access via several ferry points (summer only) or you can drive to Robert Moses State Park on Fire Island via bridge. There is a bird viewing platform at Field 5, and you can continue your hike along a boardwalk that takes you to the Fire Island lighthouse where you can view wild life and also climb to the top of the lighthouse (the highest one on Long Island) for an amazing panorama year-round.
Other bird and wildlife viewing sites include Connetquot River State Park in Oakdale, a former hunting club with thousands of acres of woodlands; Nissequogue River State Park in Kings Park (drive straight down the road and stop in at the administrative building for maps, etc.); Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Oakdale, which features gorgeous trees, shrubbery, plantings and a former mansion where you can stop for a sandwich or something hot to drink; Stony Brook Harbor/Avalon Preserve (park next to the grist mill and hike back behind the duck pond); the Pine Barrens region; Oceanside Marine Nature Study area; Massapequa Preserve; Cow Meadow Preserve in Freeport; Wertheim National Wildlife refuge and Quogue Village Wetlands Preserve.
Preservation efforts have seen endangered species like the Piping Plover starting to flourish, especially out in the Hamptons area and at Sunken Meadow State Park on the north shore. Hawks have made a truly remarkable comeback on Long Island, and they can often be viewed perched high on the flood lamps along major parkways. Other sightings include egret, heron, black ducks, warblers, gadwalls, mergansers, yellowlegs, osprey and more on Long Island. For those interested in bats, Connetquot River State Park is a major bat watching site. Other Long Island wildlife includes deer, owls, red fox, opossum, and wild turkey.