The National Audubon Society, which announced last year that it was moving its national headquarters from New York to Washington "to be where the action is" in environmental matters, said yesterday that the move has been canceled.

The conservation group decided against the move because it could not reach agreement with its New York landlord on terms for getting out of its lease, said Richard Beamish, the society's director of communications.

A glut of office space in Manhattan has made it impossible for the society to sublet its four floors at Third Avenue and 57th Street in midtown Manhattan, Beamish said. "When the decision to move was made, office space was so very scarce" that Audubon officials assumed it would be easy to move out, he said.

The half-million-member society, founded 80 years ago as a bird-lovers' organization but which has broadened its scope in recent years, said last year that it was moving to Washington to work more closely with other environmental groups, particularly in response to Reagan administration policies that the group said it believed threatened the environment.

"It seemed to us at the time that the move to Washington made sense," Beamish said. "It still makes sense." He said the society may reconsider moving here when its lease expires in 1986.

Audubon had looked at several office buildings in Washington where it would have consolidated its 125-member headquarters staff with its 25-member Washington office, now located at 645 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Beamish said.