There is a sense of magic when scores of colorful birds appear in the month of May. These neo-tropical have spent their winter in Central or South America, and all of the sudden there they are right in front of our binoculars– a splash of vibrant color and song! Warblers like the Yellow-breasted Chat capture our imaginations with their journeys and their energy levels once they reach their destination.
Just as captivating as the songbirds are the shorebirds, whose journeys take them all over the globe. A few shorebirds like the Black-necked Stilt, the emblem of the Delmarva Ornithological Society, will stay to nest in Delaware, but most will continue much further north to their breeding grounds in Canada. The Red Knot is the poster child for shorebirds in Delaware. Nearly all of the world’s population of Red Knots stop in Delaware on their Spring migration, and birders from all over the country descend upon the First State to watch these remarkable birds.
All of this bird activity coincides with one incredible week of birding opportunity here in the Delaware: The Sixth Annual Delaware Bird-A-Thon! Teams of birders are headed afield to find as many species of birds as they can, and in doing so are helping to raise funds for bird habitat preservation here in Delaware. There are plenty of field trips scheduled during the week, and lots of folks willing to help other birders discover “where the birds are.” Most importantly, this fun event is open to participants of all types, young and old, beginner to advanced.
The Delaware Dunlins Youth Birders Club will be assisting several teams participating in the Bird-A-Thon, and we will be posting the stories and photo highlights from these team’s birding adventures. We plan to share the excitement of birding with our audience, and hope that you will join us in supporting the 2012 Delaware Bird-A-Thon!
If you would like to join in the fun, as a participant or supporter, please contact us and we are happy to help!
Derek Stoner, Delaware Dunlins Program Coordinator