Birding & Wildlife

The Delaware Bayshore has incredible biodiversity, vast expanses of wetlands, beaches, woodlands and fields that support a spectacular array of birds and wildlife. Some of the country’s best birding locations are found right here. Even if you aren’t an expert birder, you will still enjoy the amazing views and wildlife sightings you will find throughout the Bayshore.

See our Top Ten Birding Sites on the Bayshore and make a weekend of it by following our Birding the Bayshore itinerary.

Come, on wings of joy we’ll fly / To where my bower hangs on high; / Come, and make thy calm retreat / Among green leaves and blossoms sweet. ~William Blake

The Birding and Wildlife Guide created by the NJ Audubon Society can also be used plan where to visit.

Be sure to check our Calendar for upcoming birding related events, and stay tuned to the blog for the latest migratory trends and sightings.

Winter, especially, is a time for eagles. Be sure to visit the Cumberland County Winter Eagle Festival, an annual celebration of our national symbol and its resurgent population.

No where in the world will you find a May quite like May on the Delaware Bay. Every Spring, the Atlantic Coast’s largest spawning population of horseshoe crabs lays their tiny green eggs on the sandy beaches of the Delaware Bay on each high tide. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Arctic-bound migrating shorebirds, including the federally threatened Red Knot, travel from South America, arriving hungry and ready to refuel on these eggs before they continue on to lay their eggs in the Arctic. To catch a glimpse of these interlinked species be sure to time your trip around the peak periods: For horseshoe crabs from Mid-May to Mid-June, on the High Tides. For Arctic-bound Migrating Shorebirds from May 12-30, Sunrise to Sunset.

purple martin
Purple Martin

The Purple Martin is North America’s largest swallow. Every summer these acrobatic and colorful birds stage for their fall migration on the southern reaches of the Maurice River. For a few weeks they will gather in massive clouds – flocks as large as ten thousand birds or more – just before dusk and feed on insects.

This phenomenon is unique to the Bayshore region, and is something that every birder, naturalist or outdoors enthusiast should make a point to observe.

Annually, the local governments and a coalition of environmental organizations participates in the Purple Martin Migration Spectacular, one of the many birding celebrations held on the Bayshore each year.