Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Birding in Delaware

For birdwatchers, new and seasoned alike, it's time to pack a pair of binoculars for a trip to a Delaware to catch an up-close look at thousands of birds who call Delaware home.

With a wide variety of ecosystems across the state, Delaware is home to hundreds of species of birds, many of which are year round residents and others stop in Delaware’s parks and refuges during their annual migration.

Top viewing spots include Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, an area of more than 16,000 acres of both land and tidal salt marsh situated on the Delaware Bay. Named as one of the nation’s “Top 100 Important Birding Areas” by the American Bird Conservancy, viewing is easy with trails, boardwalks, observation towersBombay Hook Birding and a 12 mile auto route.

Some species at the refuge can be found in congregations that number in the tens of thousands, so a wide lens camera might come in handy!

Travel further south to Cape Henlopen State Park where you’ll be not only be greeted by a soft sea breeze, but the sight of coast-traveling birds from the rare Piping Plover to several raptor species. September and October are prime months to take advantage of the parks “Hawk Watches” where you can spot up to 10 raptor species in a single day!

Smaller birding destinations include Brandywine State Park and Fort Delaware State Park. Just outside the bustling city of Wilmington, lies Brandywine State Park, filled with walking trails that offer views of the Wood Duck, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Barred Owl, Pileated Woodpecker and more.

Only 20 miles south is Fort Delaware which can be reached with a short ferry ride from Delaware City. The island park also known as Pea Patch Island is home to one of the largest and most diverse heronries on the East Coast, boasting nesting pairs of Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and many more colorful varieties.

Explore any of Delaware’s popular birding areas with binoculars on your own or join in a group adventure with an organization like Delmarva Birding Weekends. 

Click here to learn more about Delaware's top birding destinations and species.