Delaware Bay Estuary Project
Northeast Region

Delaware Bay hosts the largest spawning population of horseshoe crabs in the world and the second largest population of migrating shorebirds
in North America.  Over eighty percent of the Western Hemisphere’s population of red knot depends upon horseshoe crab eggs to double their weight in less than two weeks before flying to the Arctic to nest.  Delaware Bay is designated within the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network as having the highest reserve status.   In addition to providing the principal food source for migratory birds in Delaware Bay, horseshoe crabs comprise the main diet of juvenile loggerhead turtles.

red knot and horseshoe crab

For over ten years, two teams of International Scientists and volunteers, led by the States of New Jersey and Delaware have been monitoring the shorebirds during their spring stopover.  Delaware Bay Estuary Project provides equipment and technical expertise to this important effort. Target species include red knot, ruddy turnstone, semipalmated sandpiper, and sanderling.

Report the sighting of color marked shorebirds

Report banded birds in general

red knots

Find out more about the Delaware shorebird monitioring project

Find out more about the New Jersey shorebird monitioring project

Report tagged Horseshoe Crabs

Find out more about the Horseshoe Crab Spawning Survey

Find out about horseshoe crab census information

Last updated: July 18, 2012

Northeast Region Ecological Services

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