NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Common New York City Wildlife in Parks

Northern red-backed salamander
Northern red salamander. Photo by Susan Stanley for NYC Parks.

Humans aren't the only creatures that inhabit New York City. In fact, our parks are teeming with wildlife, some on land, others in water, and others in our skies. Keep an eye out for these common animals the next time you're enjoying your park.

  • Raccoon
  • Gray Squirrel
  • Possum
  • Eastern Chipmunk
  • Muskrat
  • White-tailed Deer
  • Coyote
  • Eastern Cottontail
  • White-footed Mouse
  • Norway Rat

Birds of Prey

  • Red-Tailed Hawk
  • Osprey
  • Sharp-Shinned Hawk
  • Merlin
  • Coopers Hawk
  • American Kestrel
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Long Eared Owl
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Eastern Screech Owl
  • Northern Saw-whet Owl
  • Northern Harrier
  • Red Shouldered Hawk

Wading & Shore Birds

  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Green Heron
  • Glossy Ibis
  • Black Crowned Night Heron
  • Great Black-Backed Gull
  • Laughing Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • Sanderling
  • American Oystercatcher
  • Piping Plover
  • Common Tern
  • Least Tern
  • Greater Yellowleg
  • Sandpiper
  • Black Skimmer

Waterfowl (most often found in winter months)

  • Canada Goose
  • Double Crested Cormorant
  • Scaup (Lesser and Greater)
  • Mallard Duck
  • Bufflehead
  • Gadwall
  • American Wigeon
  • American Coot
  • American Black Duck
  • Pied Billed Grebe
  • Horned Grebe
  • Brant Goose
  • Snow Goose
  • Wood Duck
  • Common Golden Eye
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Mute Swan
  • Red Breasted Merganzer
  • Hooded Merganzer

Passerine/Song/Other Birds

  • Blue Jay
  • Killdeer
  • Black Capped Chickadee
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • White-Throated Sparrow
  • House Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • Common Grackle
  • Mockingbird
  • Catbird
  • House Finch
  • White Breasted Nuthatch
  • Monk Parakeet
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Red-Winged Blackbird
  • Ring-Necked Pheasant
  • European Starling
  • Red-Bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Slate-Sided Junco
  • Northern Cardinal
  • American Robin
  • Mourning Dove
  • Ruby Throated Humming Bird
  • Barn Swallow
  • Tree Swallow
  • Rough-Winged Swallow
  • Rock Dove
  • Belted King Fisher
  • Brown Headed Cowbird
  • Ring-Billed Gull
  • American Crow
  • Yellow-Rumped Warbler
  • Eastern Towee
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • Bullfrog
  • Spring Peeper
  • Red-Backed Salamander
  • Fowlers Toad
  • American Toad
  • Spotted Salamander
  • Snapping Turtle
  • Gartersnake
  • Eastern Box Turtle
  • Diamond Back Terrapin
  • Eastern Painted Turtle
  • Red-Eared Sliders

Saltwater Fish/Invertebrates

  • Stripped Bass
  • Atlantic Herring
  • Shad
  • Blue Fish
  • Taotog (Black Fish)
  • Cunner
  • Sea Bass
  • Sea Robin
  • Pufferfish
  • Winter/Summer Flounder

Freshwater Fish/Creatures

  • Crawfish
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Chain pickerel
  • Channel Catfish
  • Common Carp
  • Golden Shiner
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Pumpkinseed sunfish
  • Yellow Perch

Marine Creatures

  • Horseshoe Crab
  • Periwinkle Snail
  • Spider Crab
  • Moon Snail
  • Atlantic Mole Crab
  • Ghost Crab
  • Blue Mussels
  • Ribbed Mussels
  • Razor Clam
  • Fiddler Crab

Remember, if you see an injured animal, the best thing to do is leave the animal where it is and locate an Urban Park Ranger in the park. Tell the ranger what kind of animal it is (e.g. bird, dog, raccoon), the size and color of the animal, and its observed condition (is it dead, acting disoriented, bleeding, or just walking around?). The more information you can provide, the better.

Please remember that young animals often look as if they have been abandoned, when in fact their parents are nearby. You are encouraged to leave the animal, even a cute baby, where it is, and tell a ranger. Most animals that are suspected of being sick or abandoned are fine and will be left where they are after a ranger checks it out.

Abandoned domesticated animals (dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, et cetera) should be brought to Animal Care & Control.

Was this information helpful?