Jump into Spring

Watch Birds at Delaware Bay

In the late 1980s, wildlife biologists realized that Delaware was a crucial stopover for migrating shorebirds. And the reason? They're after the billions of protein-rich horseshoe crab eggs and hatchlings. Many of the birds come from as far away as Tierra del Fuego, and have another 3,000 miles to go until they reach their breeding grounds in northern Canada. And these birds are ravenous.

Writer Ian Wilker has this to say about the phenomena, "Time it right, and you'll see tens of thousands of birds feeding on the crab eggs—red knots, semipalmated sandpipers, ruddy turnstones, and sanderling—great clouds of birds swirling up and down the beach for miles, darkening the sky."

The best time to go is mid- to late May. A spotting scope is highly recommended. Shorebirds are notoriously skitterish, so the best way to observe them is from a distance. Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge and Bombay Hook both offer excellent viewing opportunities. Launch yourself in a sea kayak on the public beaches around Bombay Hook, and you're set for one terrific day of wildlife viewing.


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