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Get your kids interested in birding



Great spots you can watch birds in the Hudson Valley

Great spots you can watch birds in the Hudson Valley


NYS has hundreds of species of birds in thousands of acres of parks and protected lands. The Hudson Valley has lots of places where you and your family can observe them. See this list of places to go and what you may see.

Dutchess County

Fahnestock State Park
1498 Route 301, Carmel
This is a great wild area where you can see wild turkeys, barred owls, Red-shouldered hawks, Winter wrens, Blue-gray gnatcatchers, Louisiana waterthrushes, and Warblers. There are trails and a beach where you can watch. There are several other recreational opportunities in this park also.

Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve
Route 9D, Beacon
This is a beautiful park with views of the Hudson everywhere. You can see prairie warblers, red-eyed vireos, black-crowned night herons, and bald eagles. There is an eagle blind at Dennings Point. With forty miles of trails and beaches galore, spotting birds should not be a chore.

Mills-Norrie State Parks
9 Old Post Road, Staatsburg
This area is actually a combination of Ogden Mills and Ruth Livingston Mills Memorial State Park and adjoining Margaret Lewis Norrie State Park. There are more than 1,000 acres along the Hudson River here. You can see red-shouldered hawks, wood ducks, common mergansers, great blue heron and bluebirds.

Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center
79 Farmstead Lane, Wappingers Falls
The barn and classrooms are closed for now, but the grounds and trails are open from sunrise to sunset daily. Look for barred owl, red-tailed hawk, many songbirds, Eastern bluebird, woodpeckers, cardinals, killdeer, wild turkey and kestrel. The Verplanck Memorial Perennial Garden is planted specifically for attracting butterflies and birds.

Orange County

Bear Mountain State Park
3006 Seven Lakes Drive, Bear Mountain
Bear Mountain is home to lots of different wildlife. You can see bald eagles, osprey, great blue herons, pileated woodpeckers, warblers and kingfishers. You can see them off the trails and a viewing platform. There are many other family-friendly activities you can do here also.

Sterling Forest State Park
116 Old Forge Road, Tuxedo
This is a pretty wild area and you are sure to spot several birds around here. Watch for Whip-poor-wills, Bald eagles and Ring-necked ducks. You can spot them from the trails, lakes and ponds, or the visitors center. You can fish, bike and boat while you are too.

Stewart State Forest
There are 3 different parking areas – see the website under Directions
This is a huge area with tons of trails and wetlands. You can find wild turkeys, great blue herons, pied-billed grebes, blue-winged warblers, American woodcock, and hawks. There are 18 miles of gravel roads and trails, meadows, fields, and lots of ponds and water holes. Biking and mountain biking can be done here also.

Sullivan County

Bashakill Wildlife Management Area
There are 16 parking areas – click the link above and it’s under Directions
Bashakill has over 200 species of birds. It has been designated a Bird Conservation Area. Some of the birds to watch are green heron, great blue heron, American bittern, ring-necked duck, bald eagles, osprey, and Cooper’s hawk. The website lists several more. Watch them from the trails, marsh and observation towers. 

Ulster County

Shawangunk Grasslands
902 Hoagerburgh Rd, Wallkill
This beautiful grassland area protects 597 acres to support grassland-dependent migratory birds and wintering raptors. Some of the birds you could see here are the short-eared owl, northern harrier, upland sandpiper, Henslow’s sparrow, grasshopper sparrow, vesper sparrow, horned lark, and bobolink. You can see them on 3.6 miles of trails. Area is open dawn to dusk.

Minnewaska State Park Preserve
5281 Route 44-55, Kerhonkson
The Minnewaska State Preserve is over 2,000 feet above sea level and the views are breathtaking. This area supports a huge amount of forest-dwelling birds. You can expect to see northern saw-whet owl, black-and-white warbler, black-throated blue warbler, Canada warbler, Eastern wood-pewee, northern flicker, scarlet tanager, eastern towhee, field sparrow, gray catbird, indigo bunting and prairie warbler. There is also a pair of endangered Peregrine Falcons that nest on the cliff face.

 



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