Tips for Birdwatching in Prospect Park - Prospect Park Alliance

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Virginia Freire

Tips for Birdwatching in Prospect Park

March 14, 2018

People are often surprised to learn that Prospect Park is one of the best birding locations in the United States. Located along the Atlantic Flyway, the 585-acre park is ideal for birding, with more than 250 species spotted each year, including migrating songbirds in spring and fall, and a large diversity of waterfowl and resident birds throughout the year. In fact, Prospect Park has been designated one of New York’s 130 Important Bird Areas (IBA), which are critical for bird conservation.  

During the spring and fall migration season, many birds visit Prospect Park as a stopover to rest and refuel on their journeys between wintering grounds and summer breeding sites. Here are some tips from Prospect Park Alliance naturalists in order to make the most of this time of year:  

Where to See Birds:
Some of the best birding locations in Prospect Park are along the higher-elevation ridges, such as Lookout Hill and the Park’s Northeast Corner. Peter Dorosh, Field Technician with the Prospect Park Alliance Natural Resources Crew, attributes this to the presence of oak trees in these areas, and the bugs that live there. “Oaks host a great diversity of insects,” Dorosh says, “it’s like going to a cafeteria for a warbler or other birds that feed on insects.”

When to See Birds:
Early morning is an ideal time to catch lots of bird activity. As birds awake, they are likely to seek out food, and this flurry of movement makes them easier to spot. Dusk is a similarly good time to spot feeding birds, filling up their bellies before bed.

How to See Birds:
Binoculars are an important tool for every bird watcher. Binoculars can help you see small birds flitting around the high canopy, or help you see the minute identifying marks on a bird flying feet away from you. Young birders in Prospect Park can borrow a Discovery Pack from Prospect Park Alliance at the Audubon Center or Popup Audubon locations, complete with a pair of binoculars.

Who to See Birds With:
Joining a bird walk is a great way to meet fellow birders, better your chances of seeing more birds and learn from experienced bird watchers. Prospect Park Alliance plays host to many bird walks including weekly walks at the Prospect Park Audubon Center and through the Brooklyn Bird Club.

With those tips, you’re ready to find feathered friends in the Park! Check out upcoming bird walks and learn more about Birdwatching in Prospect Park.