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Summer wildlife viewing events in NYC parks

Egret, Marine Park
Egret, Marine Park
photo by Jean Gazis

The New York City Parks Department offers a wide range of activities throughout the year. The Urban Park Rangers program provides events for all ages and all kinds of interests, from astronomy to history to family camping. One of these interest areas is wildlife viewing. There's a surprising abundance of wildlife in New York City. It's home to everything from falcons to salamanders, and viewing opportunities are available all year round in the city's parks and beaches. Viewing wildlife is a perfect activity for people of all ages, and it's one of the nation’s fastest growing activities. Here are eight upcoming summer and fall wildlife viewing events in city parks.

Sunday, August 3, 10 AM: Birding in Van Cortlandt Park. Meet at Mosholu Avenue and Broadway in the Bronx.

Sunday, August 10, 7 PM: Nocturnal Wildlife in Marine Park. Meet at the Salt Marsh Nature Center, East 33rd Street and Avenue U, Brooklyn. (Parking is available across the street.)

Saturday, August 16, 11 AM: Entomology Exploration in Central Park. Meet at the Dana Discovery Center, 110th Street and Lenox Avenue, Manhattan.

Sunday, August 17, 8 PM: Nocturnal Wildlife in Blue Heron Park. Meet at Blue Heron Nature Center, 222 Poillon Avenue, between Amboy Road and Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island.

Sunday, August 31, 8 PM: Nocturnal Wildlife in Inwood Hill Park. Meet at the park entrance at Isham Street and Seaman Avenue, Manhattan.

Sunday September 7, 7 PM: Nocturnal Wildlife in Alley Pond Park. Meet at Alley Pond Park Adventure Center, Winchester Boulevard under the Grand Central Parkway, Queens.

Saturday, September 27, Time TBA: Birding Brooklyn Road Trip. Location TBA. The Urban Park Rangers will take you on a road trip in search of early fall migrants. Participants are chosen by lottery. To enter your name in the lottery visit nyc.gov/parks/rangers/register on Wednesday, September 17.

Sunday, October 5, 12-3 PM: Raptor Fest in Prospect Park. Meet at the Peninsula (Enter on Vanderbilt Street), Brooklyn. See real, live raptors up close, and learn all about these fascinating birds with the Urban Park Rangers and the Prospect Park Audubon Center.

For all the wildlife viewing events, the Rangers recommend bringing a pair of binoculars, or they can lend you a pair. You can find a complete list of city parks events hosted by the Urban Park Rangers in the Parks Department's quarterly publication, Outdoors in NYC.

The Parks Department also operates 13 Nature and Visitor Centers in various city parks, and a host of other free public events such as fishing. Several other organizations also offer birdwatching tours in city parks. Whatever your wildlife interest, there's plenty to do all year long in the city's extensive park system.