WORCESTER COUNTY, Md.- Get set to attend the 20th Annual Delmarva Birding Weekend, which takes place April 25-28, and celebrate the spring migration of thousands of warblers, shorebirds, waterfowl and raptors. No experience is necessary, as guided walks, paddles and boat excursions are suited to experienced birders and novices alike.
Worcester County is a birdwatcher's paradise. From the Atlantic coastline across the Pocomoke Forest and down the scenic Pocomoke River, Worcester County is home to pelicans and pewees, kingbirds and cuckoos, herons, harriers and eagles. The piping plover, a bird struggling to make its way off the endangered species list, makes its nesting grounds in and around Assateague Island, while another 350 species of birds also make their homes in and around the salt marshes along the Atlantic Coastal Bays.
Birding in Worcester County offers travelers the chance to experience an unspoiled barrier island, cypress swamp, centuries-old forest, tidal wetlands and secluded fields. State and national parks in the county offer camping, nature trails and guided tours, inviting you to share the beauty of Worcester County's native landscape.
The Delmarva Birding Weekend provides an array of tours in these areas that offer an inside glimpse at the diverse wildlife that migrates to regions of the Atlantic and Chesapeake Bays as well as Delaware Bays, where they nest and forage along the barrier islands, tidal wetlands, cypress swamps, upland fields and primeval forests. In fact, more than 400 bird species have been recorded in the region. The wildlife to be seen on each tour differs. For example, those who tour Ayres Creek are likely to witness wading birds herons, egrets, loons and various duck species – to birds of prey, including majestic bald eagles and hawks. Those opting to tour the Pocomoke will discover warblers and other birds that make their homes far off the beaten paths.
Tours are not just for experienced birders, but are also great for novice birdwatchers, individuals and families alike who love wildlife and being outdoors.
"I went on a trip on the Shorebird Explorer and that was an excellent trip because there were lots of guides on the boat pointing out various species. We even saw a clapper rail as we went down the backside of Assateague and around Skimmer Island," Challenger said. "We saw a lot of really beautiful birds. This particular trip is a great event for families with children." "This year, birders may even see some seals bathing in the sun"
Worcester County was recognized by the Audubon Maryland-DC, the state office of the National Audubon Society for ongoing work to protect the Important Bird Areas (IBA) along the Atlantic Coastal Bays. Specifically, the county purchased and facilitated conservation easements in this habitat-rich area. The IBA in Worcester County includes vulnerable birds and their habitats, and boosts the local economy through nature tourism.
All trips are guided by experienced birders. Take day or night hikes on public and private lands, paddle at sunrise or sunset and cruise by boat in our coastal waters, rivers and creeks.
Nature enthusiasts are invited to join us and experience the fall migration as well for the Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival, which runs from October 11 – 13. For more information on birding in Worcester County or to register for these events, visit www.delmarvabirding.org.