Birds are especially abundant during migration, when the region’s forests, grasslands and shrubby habitat provide a rest-and-refueling stopover for colorful neotropical birds including warblers, orioles, thrushes, flycatchers, tanagers, sparrows and cuckoos. Experienced birders have seen more than 40 migrant species in a single shoreline woodlot in one morning!

Lake Erie and several areas around Western NY have been dubbed as wonderful birding areas.  An article published by USA today puts it all into perspective. A blog written by The Erie Hiker is also a great resource for finding trails.

Visit Great Lakes/Birding for information on birding the 518+ miles of the Seaway Trail.

Specific to this area:

Lake Erie Basin: Land birds migrating through this region are concentrated close to the lakeshore and use many human-planted areas. A highlight of birding this region is the observation of raptors and other diurnal migrants at the Ripley Hawk Watch.
Key Areas of Interest:
Ripley Hawk Watch
– Lake Erie State Park
– Jamestown Audubon Nature Center
– Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History

Dunkirk Harbor Area: This region is one of the best birding areas along the New York shore of Lake Erie. It combines an area that receives concentrations of migrant land birds with a man-made site where large numbers of waterfowl and water birds concentrate.
Key Areas of Interest:
Dunkirk Harbor
– Point Gratiot 

 Eastern Lake Erie: This region is heavily urbanized, yet excellent birding opportunities are available on preserved lands and redevelopment lands where restoration has occurred.
Key Areas of Interest:
Evangola State Park
– Woodlawn Beach State Park
– Tifft Nature Preserve
– Lake Erie Seaway Trail Visitors Center

 Niagara River: In addition to the world-famous falls, the Niagara River is also famous for its gulls. Nineteen species of gulls have been found here, marking the river as one of the best gull watching spots in the world.
Key Areas of Interest:
Bird Island Pier and LaSalle Park
– Buffalo Waterfront
– Beaver Island State Park
– Niagara Gorge Discovery Center
– Goat Island
– Buckhorn Island State Park
– Whirlpool State Park
– Lewston Boat Ramp and Artpark
– Fort Niagara State Park

-Some Information adapted from



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Photos courtesy: Dave Schultz