For release: Thursday, August 25, 2022
The Adirondacks-North Country, Catskills and Southern Tier segments bring the total number of sites in the state to 312
Statewide Trail provides birding opportunities for all New Yorkers, regardless of age, ability, identity or background
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the dedication of the final three regions of the New York State Bird Trail, highlighting highlights the state’s world-class, far-reaching birding opportunities. The Adirondacks-North Country, Catskills and Southern Tier segments bring the total number of birding trail locations across the state to over 300, offering a variety of quality birding experiences for New Yorkers and visitors.
“Across the state, the New York State Birdwatching Trail showcases the state’s diverse habitats and landscapes and the more than 450 species of birds found here.” Commissioner Seggos said. “Completing the trail map is just the beginning. We look forward to working with our many birding partners for years to come to help residents and visitors take advantage of the unique and special birding opportunities birds that can only be found here in New York State.”
Birdwatching has become one of New York’s fastest growing recreational and tourism activities. DEC manages the New York State Birding Trail in conjunction with partners such as the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. The statewide trail system includes promoted birding sites accessible by car or public transportation, providing an inclusive experience for all visitors to enjoy birding in a beautiful natural setting with little or no costs or investment in equipment.
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said“Avid birders are rewarded with a variety of beautiful colors and calls in our state parks. Our trails are habitats that attract birds and birdwatchers. This partnership will allow more New Yorkers to see and take advantage of everything we have to offer.”
Empire State Vice President of Development and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said“New York State’s Birding Trail System provides excellent opportunities for families to get out and explore our unparalleled natural settings and wildlife. Our scenic birding trails complement any getaway. weekend or long vacation, and the new trails will encourage residents and visitors to plan a trip and come be a part of all the outdoor fun in New York State.”
The Adirondacks-North Country segment includes 41 locations on a mix of public and private lands in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, Montgomery, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, and Warren counties with species such as loons, blue tits and Canada jays. In addition to unique birding opportunities, this area offers breathtaking views of the high peaks of the Adirondacks.
Covering five counties, the Catskills segment includes 23 locations on public lands in Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties. From forest reserve lands and iconic state parks to a national wildlife refuge and the popular Ashokan Railroad Trail, visitors can combine birdwatching with other activities like hiking and biking. The Catskills Visitor Center is a great place to start a birding adventure in this area.
The Southern Tier segment includes 34 sites in Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Tioga counties. The southern part of New York is filled with breathtaking scenery, from the deep forests of Allegany State Park to the gorges and towering rock formations of Watkins Glen State Park, Rock City and State Forests of McCarty Hill. With such natural diversity, birdwatchers can enjoy unique opportunities to observe a wide variety of wood warblers and other forest bird species.
New segments of the Birding Trail have been opened in a phased approach. DEC announced the New York trail segment in October 2021, Greater Niagara in February 2022, Long Island in March 2022, Hudson Valley in April 2022, and Central-Finger Lakes and Capital Region in May. With 312 sites, the Statewide Birding Trail offers birding opportunities for everyone, regardless of age, ability, identity or background, throughout New York State.
DEC continues to seek input from a wide range of New Yorkers and organizations that represent Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and makes trail information available in English and Spanish. Birdwatching walks will be organized in collaboration with organizations working with BIPOC communities.
The New York State Bird Trail Map is available at www.ibirdny.org and provides valuable information about each site such as location, amenities available, species likely to be seen, directions, etc Digital information on the Birding Trail will be updated periodically, so budding outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to return often.
In addition to state-owned and state-run sites for the Bird Trail, government and privately run sites can follow a simple self-nomination process to be considered for inclusion on the trail. . The sites all meet the criteria to ensure a positive experience for visitors statewide. In addition, each site will post signage indicating that it is an official location on the birding trail. For more information on the nomination process, see www.ibirdny.org.
DEC encourages bird watchers to visit I Bird NY for more information on where and how to bird watch, upcoming bird walks, a downloadable beginner’s guide to bird watching (PDF) (available in Spanish), additional resources and information about the recently announced 2022 I Bird NY Birding Challenges.
DEC manages and oversees nearly five million acres of public lands and conservation easements and plays a vital role in both protecting New York’s natural resources and providing people with opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Fishing on scenic streams, hiking and rock climbing, swimming and boating, bird watching and nature study, or just relaxing in a tent under the stars , the adventures are endless. Visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/, connect with us on Facebook, or follow us on Instagram and Twitter.
Scott J. Lenhart, Refuge Ranger, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge said“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wishes to commend our conservation partners at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for their outstanding efforts in the monumental task of completing all segments of the NYS Birding Trail. We are especially pleased that NYSDEC has chosen to include the Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge (Ulster County) in the Catskills segment. The USFWS will continue to work closely with NYSDEC to promote birdwatching statewide. from New York.
New York DEP Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala said“The pristine landscape and natural beauty of the Catskills and Delaware water supply region provide extraordinary habitats for a wide variety of birds as well as rare and endangered species such as the bald eagle. We are delighted to partner with State DEC to include portions of the New York State Birdwatching Trail among water supply regions nearly 145,000 acres of land and water open for public recreation.
Suzanne Treyger, Senior Manager of Audubon’s Forestry Program, said“Audubon New York is thrilled to see these important New York State forest regions added to the NYS Birding Trail. over a hundred bird species, including Wood Thrush, American Woodcock, and Black-throated Blue Warbler. We commend the state for their work on this trail, which provides people with more opportunities to discover these amazing birds.
Scott van Laer, director of the visitor interpretive center at Paul Smith’s College, said“Paul Smith’s College is thrilled to have trails at our Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) included in the New York State Birding Trail. Many of our trails are accessible, providing everyone the opportunity to enjoy bird watching.The VIC is home to -to find birds such as Black-backed Woodpecker, Willow Tit and for the first time this summer, Sandhill Cranes. birdwatching and host the Big Adirondacks Birdwatching Celebration every June, so we are very happy to see the support of the DEC and encourage birdwatching as a recreational activity. I Bird NY is a great resource for birdwatchers of all skill levels.
Shannon Walter, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Thousand Islands Land Trust, said“The Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) is located in the heart of the Atlantic Flyway and the Algonquin to Adirondack Flyway. TILT is so honored to be part of the New York Birding Trail and to share the many opportunities to birding and year-round outdoor activities in the Thousand Islands and St. Lawrence Valley region.
Jim LaPlante, chairman of the board of OBI Land Trust, located in Jefferson County, said“OBI Land Trust is thrilled to have Downybrook Nature Preserve as our New York State birding trail. Our volunteer Land Trust is proud to provide exceptional birding opportunities to our community. “
Jeff Senterman, executive director of the Catskill Center, said“Hosting a segment of the New York State Birdwatching Trail on the grounds of our Catskills Visitor Center is a great opportunity to introduce the many visitors to Catskill Park to the birdwatching in the Catskills region. We are thrilled to be able to offer visitors a starting point in the Catskills for their NYS Birding Trail adventure and look forward to working with NYSDEC and other partners to ensure the success of the Trail.
Melissa Abramson, co-chair of the New York Outdoor Coalition (NYORC), said“The New York Outdoor Recreation Coalition (NYORC) is thrilled with the completion of the NYS Birding Trail. We believe this expansion is an excellent step in increasing equitable access to outdoor recreation, providing opportunities for outdoor exploration. Outdoors Close to Home for So Much We encourage everyone to check out the expanded birding trail and take advantage of all the resources this great program has to offer.