Birds Flock by the Thousands to Delaware! (How To Do Birding for Beginners)

Sedge wren…no, yellow-throated vireo…no, it’s a piping plover! Learn to hear and spot the local waterfowl like a pro. We’ll give you a guide on how to get started. Soon you’ll be identifying all the most popular birds along the Delaware coast (and a few show-stopping unique finds you’ll want to know as you show off your skills). 

The First State is a haven for fowl, a rest stop on the way to and from migration destinations, hosting hundreds of thousands of birds year-round in a spectacular display of flight and nesting. 

Why Delaware? Because it’s smack in the middle of the Atlantic Flyway – the primary migration highway for birds of all shapes and sizes up and down the entire coast. Retiring and living here provides a privileged and maybe overwhelming view of hundreds of species of birds. 

So how do you get started when there’s so much to explore and learn?

Gear up! Start with Delaware’s state parks and wildlife refuges, such as Prime Hook and Bombay Hook. Both are navigable day trips from SoDel. Bring your binoculars and that outerwear you’ve been itching to use, and discover the difference between a kestrel and a falcon. Learn why Delaware state’s marine animal (the horseshoe crab) is essential to migratory birds’ and other local critters’ survival!

Find a field guide, or venture on your own to prepare for a feast of flying beauties in all kinds of weather. It takes some practice to focus and identify local birds, but when you encounter an eagle, an osprey or a Peregrine Falcon, you’ll be the envy of your fellow birders!

What can you do to get started?

Volunteer for Hawk Watch, an annual bird count that tracks the progress of important migratory birds. Or, volunteer for the state’s Shorebird Project to help protect First State’s wildlife. Visit Delaware Birding Trail’s web site for tips on where and when to spot certain species. Attend one of Delmarva Birding’s field trips that feature passionate experts to introduce you to the art of birding regardless of your level of experience.

Delaware is home to a US Air Force base, but it’s also home to a different kind of air (the aviary kind). Renowned amongst birders of all levels, it’s a fascinating destination both inland and on the pristine coast. Over 1,000 species of birds that visit our special peninsula understand this: Delaware is prime for relaxing while waiting for the next flight to your destination. 

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