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Delaware Bay Shorebirds


arrow A Night on the Horseshoe Crab Survey
arrow FWS Protects Red Knot as Threatened Under the Endangered Species Act - US FWS News Release, 12/9/14
Seasonal Restricted Access Information
arrow Red Knot - An Imperiled Migratory Shorebird in New Jersey

ShorebirdsThe Delaware Bay's shores are a critical stopover area for six species of migrating birds. The late May arrival of these birds coincides with the spawning of horseshoe crabs, producing one of the most dramatic natural phenomena anywhere in the world. Feeding on crab eggs, the birds refuel and continue their journey to Arctic breeding grounds. Unfortunately, there has been a dramatic decline in horeshoe crab numbers since 1991 and a corresponding decline in shorebird numbers.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife's Endangered and Nongame Species Program has invested considerable resources in studying the birds, including field work in Chile as well as the Arctic. Color-marking these birds has resulted in a growing database of sightings describing their migration routes, and nesting and wintering areas. Your observation will contribute to this important information.

To report your observations: Go to Once you have entered your data, you can go to "Map Your Resighting" to see where your birds were banded and where else they have been seen in the flyway.

The links below lead to pages with information about these shorebirds and the work of division biologists.

Delaware Bay Shorebird Information

Seasonal Restrictions on Beach Access
Delaware Bay Shorebird Banding Information
Delaware Bay Shorebird Migration Information
Delaware Bay Shorebirds Brochure (has directions to viewing areas) (pdf, 425kb)

Red Knot - An Imperiled Migratory Shorebird in New Jersey
   Update to the Status of the Red Knot in the Western Hemisphere, April 2010 (pdf, 188kb)
   Effects of Horseshoe Crab Harvest in Delaware Bay on Red Knots: Are Harvest Restrictions Working? - BioScience Vol. 59 No. 2, February, 2009 (pdf, 1.1mb)

The Status of the Red Knot in the Western Hemisphere, May 2007 - US Fish and Wildlife Service
  Complete Report (pdf, 16mb)
  Report Body without Appendix (6.1mb)
  Report Appendix (9.9mb)

Delaware Bay Shorebird Project Field Reports

2007 Delaware Bay Shorebird Migration Blog
2005 Delaware Bay Shorebird Migration Log
Shorebird Project 2002
Shorebird Project 2001

In Search of the Red Knot in Tierra del Fuego, Chile, 2001-2004
In Search of the Red Knot in the Arctic
  2000,   2001,   2002,   2003


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arrow Watchable Wildlife and Diversity Tours
arrow Partners in Flight
back to Endangered and Nongame Species Program page
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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: February 25, 2019