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Delaware Shorebirds

It is worth visiting the DuPont Nature Center for a fun nature and learning experience with your family or on your own. Even during this period of closure of the indoor exhibits, the telescope, and Shorebird information. Be sure to bring your binoculars to enjoy the view of the many shorebirds on the Eastern Shore.

The most amazing and the most obvious are the herons, egrets, and ospreys. These are the largest of the birds frequently our shores, especially during their breeding seasons.

Herons are the most magnificent with their elongated figure of flight and swooping grace. The osprey can hover and dive for lunch before you can snap a photo! The Short-Billed Dowitcher is a lovely orange, brown, and golden shorebirds with chunky bodies and very long bills. Red Knot is a medium-sized shorebird, with brilliant terracotta-orange underparts and intricate gold, buff, rufous, and black upperparts. The Ruddy Turnstone looks almost like a calico cat, with orange legs and uniquely patterned black-and-white head and chest. Dunlin is a chunky, small shorebird with medium-length legs, a short neck, and a long bill that is curved toward the tip. The sanderling is a small wading bird. The name derives from Old English sand-yrðling, “sand-ploughman”. Black-bellied Plover, in breeding plumage, is a dazzling mix of snow white and jet black, accented by checkerboard wings. They are supreme aerialists, both agile and swift. The Semipalmated Sandpiper is a very small shorebird and gets its common name from the short webs between its toes (“palmated” means webbed). Willets inhabit open beaches, bayshores, marshes, mudflats, and rocky coastal zones. Willets are gray or brown and, when flying, display a striking white and black stripe along each wing. Piercing calls and distinctive wing markings make them one of our most conspicuous large shorebirds. Greater Yellowlegs is a striking bird, with dense, dark bands on the breast and neck, and has yellow legs! The Semipalmated Plover is the most common plover seen on migration in most areas, and can swim short distances across small water channels during foraging while on migration.

Visiting the Dupont Nature Center is an engaging natural treasure to begin birdwatching and enjoy the seashore!

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