Must-See Jamaica Bay: Wildlife and Birding
Outdoors & Recreation
by Alyssa Grossman, 05/15/2012
The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is perfect for families in search of a day trip, for bird-watchers and ornithologists—for any lover of nature. Start your trek at the Visitor Contact Station, where you will find all the information you'll need for a day of exploring. The LEED-certified space features colorful exhibits detailing the plants and animals that inhabit Jamaica Bay and background on the area's vibrant history. After picking up a free permit for the trails, venture out with bird walks, cruises, tours and animal information sessions. The variety of creatures here is so vast that more than 60 butterfly species have been spotted, along with a community of horseshoe crabs that's one of the biggest in the Northeast. Just like the animals themselves, opportunities for wildlife viewing aren't confined to the refuge. Marine Park in Brooklyn and Fort Tilden provide alternate opportunities for birders.
Thursdays, July 18 and August 1
Gerritsen Creek Kayak Excursion at Gateway Marina
Spend the afternoon kayaking around Gerritsen Creek on this 4.5-mile trip. Participants will make a stop at the Salt Marsh Nature Center, where Urban Park Rangers will provide an introduction to the center's animal exhibits. Before paddling back, interested kayakers will get the chance for some seining by the shoreline. Reservations are required by calling 718-338-3799.