Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens

4.5
#10 of 12 in Parks in Queens
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife refuge in New York City managed by the National Park Service as part of Gateway National Recreation Area.It is composed of the open water and intertidal salt marshes of Jamaica Bay. It lies entirely within the boundaries of New York City, divided between the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. It is near John F. Kennedy International Airport, which was built upon a portion of the wetlands in Jamaica Bay. In April 1942, the City of New York started placing hydraulic fill over the marshy tidelands of the area. JFK International Airport is now the sixth busiest airport in the United States with 125 gates serving over 70 airlines which may pose some serious noise pollutant threats to the surrounding environment.The refuge provides habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna, both marine and terrestrial. It is a prime location for viewing birds and bird migrations, diamondback turtle egg-laying and horseshoe crab mating and egg laying. The primary diet of the Diamondback terrapins include fish, snails, worms, clams, crabs and marsh plants, many of which are abundant in these particular marshlands. Ospreys are currently being captured, tagged and studied in the Wildlife Refuge to help scientists better understand the birds' habits. Small mammals such as Eastern Gray Squirrels and raccoon are also present in the area. The recently increased raccoon population however has developed a taste for diamondback turtle eggs and many nests are often destroyed only 24 hours after being laid.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
30 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • August 2, 2017
    Jamaica Bay is one of the most important stops on the major east coast bird migration route. Birds stop here to rest and feed. The park is continuously monitored by the Audubon Society, who report int...  more »
  • June 10, 2017
    Easy to get to by car on and off Belt Parkway. Informative stop with displays and video. Clean bathrooms - men's bathroom has changing table as well as garbage can close by said table! Outside picnic ...  more »
  • June 10, 2017
    An all-season refuge from the great city, a birder's paradise and a great walk. Conservation and teaching at work. Love it! I would love to see more nature films shown there, especially those concerne...  more »
Google
  • July 6, 2017
    A nice pond walk. Hopefully freshwater birds will return and plants damaged by Sandy will be replaced
  • April 21, 2017
    It's a great park for seeing birds; they even have osprey nests. Great place to see butterflies and plants too!
  • February 19, 2017
    It wasn't easy to get there but after getting instructions from someone who got me to Cross Bay blvd I was excited. I suggest calling the visitor center before you go because many trails were closed due to reconstruction from damage from hurricane Sandy. The one trail was opened but I needed a clearing to set up my tripod for my Canon 7D and Tamron 150-600 lens. There was no clearing found so I turned around and went home. My bladder was screaming at me to find a bathroom. Didn't find any places to stop so I held it in, not recommended. I have to go back there in the spring.
  • July 7, 2017
    A hidden nyc gem. Shhh. You'll scare the owls.
  • November 18, 2016
    Such a beauty in New York city. It's right next to JFK. It's great for birding if you cross the highway and take the trail and see the lake where hundreds of birds go. Parking is available and it's free. Great biking can be done alongside the highway. It's a cute hike if you don't wanna go far. I personally love it. The rangers are very friendly and would love to help you if you happen to habe any questions.

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