Fire Island's barrier island habitats and location on the Atlantic Flyway make this a good home for both resident and migratory birds.
The tidal marsh on the Great South Bay, especially at Watch Hill, is a good place to look for waterfowl, herons and egrets, and red-winged blackbirds.
The Sunken Forest, a mature maritime forest at Sailors Haven, provides dense cover for migrating warblers. Other birds, such as the towhee, can be heard rustling the leaves on the forest floor.
Near the Fire Island Lighthouse, the fall migration of hawks is monitored by the Fire Island Raptor Enumerators (FIRE) from September through mid-November.
Varied habitats of the William Floyd Estate include woods and fields, creeks and salt marsh, providing additional opportunities for bird watching.
Local Audubon Society groups participate in "citizen science" by conducting annual Christmas Bird Count censuses and the Summer Breeding Bird Census in parts of the park.
The National Audubon Society and Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology sponsor an annual Great Backyard Bird Count in February. Participants can log on and get the easy-to-follow instructions and checklists neede