• Miles of uncrowded white sandy beaches extend to the horizon, separating the clear blue ocean and undulating grass-covered dunes.

    Fire Island

    National Seashore New York

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  • 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 »


Adult piping plover stands at edge of wrack line on white sandy beach.

The piping plover is among the threatened and endangered species of birds that nest on Fire Island.  Efforts to protect the piping plover—such as restrictions on pets, kites and pedestrians in some areas and reduction of beach driving during the mating and nesting season—also help protect the beach grass and other plants that stabilize the dunes.

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.


Learn More

  • Park Flight Program
    • Partners in Flight


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:

Final Avian Survey Summary Report, May 2002 – May 2003
for the Reformulation of the Shore Protection and Storm Damage Reduction Project South Shore of Long Island, New York - Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point
October 2003
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers

Did You Know?

Man reads interpretive sign in front of remnants of brick foundation.

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...