Hudson River Valley

Wildlife and Birding

The Hudson River has a fascinating depth of character. Its source is Lake Tear of the Clouds in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks. From there, the river drains nearly 14,000 square miles, flowing in a southerly direction for 315 miles to Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan. For the last 152 miles of this journey, from the Federal Dam at Troy, it is a tidal river. It is no surprise, then, that the Hudson Valley supports an impressive range of wildlife and birds.

White-tailed deer are plentiful in the region, as are raccoons, muskrats and skunks. You might see red fox, coyotes, mink, and 77 species of birds at the Pawling Nature Reserve, just an hour and a half from New York City. An extensive trail system leads the visitor through a remarkably diverse landscape, including a beautiful gorge and two outstanding hemlock ravines. Another Reserve near the big city is Mianus River Gorge, which also offers great hiking, hemlocks, fern glens and more. Both Pawling Nature Reserve and the Mianus River Gorge Wildlife Refuge and Botanical Preserve are owned by The Nature Conservancy. Many of the Valley's state parks are also excellent places for birding and wildlife viewing.

Along the river are blue claw crabs, snapping turtles and diamondback terrapins. The river's mudflats are used extensively by herons and egrets. Bank swallows and belted kingfishers nest in places such as the sand cliffs of Stockport, north of Hudson, N.Y Birders thrill at the sight of bald eagles and ospreys along the river.

Large numbers of resident and breeding bird species are present in the Hudson Valley. A birder's list could include the Eastern bluebird, pileated woodpeckers, yellow warblers and hundreds of other species. Birds of prey can been throughout the Valley. Even in New York City, Central Park bird-watchers can enjoy spying on red-tailed hawks and other raptors.


park finder
step one
Where are you going?

step one
What do you want to do?

+ More Activities

GEARZILLA: The Gorp Gear Blog

Receive Gear Reviews, Articles & Advice

Preview this newsletter »

Ask Questions