New Backcountry Camping procedures
Reservations for required permits must be obtained through Recreation.gov. Due to the breach at Old Inlet, access to both east and west wilderness camping zones must now be from Davis Park or access points west, and involve a 2½ to 10 mile hike. More »
More than 330 species of birds have been recorded on Fire Island, more than 1/3 of all species found in North America. Fire Island is without a doubt one of the best birding locations in the New York area, particularly during the spring and fall migrations.
Located along the Atlantic migratory flyway, Fire Island plays host to a wide variety of both migratory and resident bird species. The island's rich mosaic of forest, dune, and marsh habitats offers feeding and nesting opportunities for a wide array of shorebirds, songbirds, raptors, waterfowl, and waders.
Fire Island National Seashore is one of more than 40 National Park Service sites that are recognized as "Globally Important Bird Areas" by conservation organizations. The Seashore's Atlantic coastline is a part of the American Bird Conservancy's designated Long Island Piping Plover Nesting Beaches.
You can watch the fall migration of raptors (hawks, etc.), viewed from the raptor-viewing platform (just east of Robert Moses State Park, Field 5). The Fire Island Raptor Enumerators (FIRE) is a group of dedicated individuals who collect data and keep records on the numbers of raptors and their flight patterns in this region. Raptors tend to fly in a pattern across the island near the raptor-viewing platform.
Raptors, crows and jays are among the birds that are monitored each year for the presence of West Nile virus. These birds, if infected, may transmit the virus to certain mosquitoes that bite—and infect—humans.
For More Information
Recent studies and inventories of birds on Fire Island include:
Did You Know?
The first Fire Island Lighthouse was built at the end of Fire Island in 1826. Today, the Fire Island Inlet is more than five miles west of this foundation. You can see the remnants of the first structure when you visit the present lighthouse, constructed in 1858. More...