These Are America's 20 Best Cities for Birdwatching

Despite its reputation as a concrete jungle, New York ranks as the best American city for birdwatching. Lawn Love looked at multiple factors, such as the number of parks and bird species, to come up with their list.
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You don’t have to trek to the countryside to enjoy a successful birdwatching excursion. Some of the best bird destinations in the U.S. also happen to be the country’s biggest metropolises. If you’re itching to expand your life list, head to one of the best American cities for birdwatching, which are listed below.

Lawn Love based their rankings on numerous criteria, including accessibility to natural areas, the diversity of species, and local birdwatching culture. New York—the biggest city in the United States— tops the list. Despite its reputation as a concrete jungle, the city’s world-class public parks and wildlife sanctuaries make it a paradise for nature lovers. The Big Apple also occupies prime real estate along the Atlantic Flyway bird migration route, so local birders can spot hundreds of species without leaving their ZIP code. And because it’s a popular place for birdwatching, beginners can easily find groups to help kickstart their hobby.

Next on the list is San Diego, where birdwatching is a popular activity with the city’s outdoorsy residents. California boasts the most national and state parks of any state in addition to attracting the most bird species. It’s no surprise then that Golden State cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco join San Diego in the top 10. 

If you’re interested in birding, becoming aware of the species in your own neighborhood is a great place to start. Tools like notebooks and binoculars can be helpful, but they aren’t barriers to entry. After checking out the full ranking, learn more about the birds in your backyard here.

20 Best American Cities for Birding

  1. New York, New York
  2. San Diego, California
  3. Houston, Texas
  4. Seattle, Washington
  5. Los Angeles, California
  6. San Fransisco, California
  7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  8. Phoenix, Arizona
  9. Austin, Texas
  10. Chicago, Illinois
  11. Tucson, Arizona
  12. Portland, Oregon
  13. Irvine, California
  14. Long Beach, California
  15. Pasadena, California
  16. Denver, Colorado
  17. Escondido, California
  18. Atlanta, Georgia
  19. Lancaster, California
  20. Oceanside, California