Birdwatching near New Jersey’s Delaware River

Birdwatching near New Jersey’s Delaware River offers a unique experience. First, let’s talk about the area: the Delaware River Region of New Jersey includes multiple counties. There are state parks located within these counties that offer access to birdwatching in this region. Areas to research for birdwatching:

  • Delaware Water Gap and Valley
  • Walpack Fish and Wildlife Management Area/Walpack Valley
  • Fort Mott State Park
  • Parvin State Park
  • Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Delaware Water Gap and Valley

The Delaware Water Gap and Valley covers about forty miles along the Delaware and boasts contiguous deciduous and coniferous upland forests. This area also includes numerous Natural Heritage Priority Sites, designated by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. There are more than 225 bird species in this nature area. The Water Gap and Valley is home to bald eagles, northern goshawks, red-shouldered hawks, barred owls, sharp-shinned hawks, red-headed woodpeckers, savannah sparrows, grasshopper sparrows, bobolinks, golden-winged warblers, veeries, and cerulean warblers. Fall birdwatching in this area offers thousands of migrating raptors. Spring highlights include migratory land birds at this site. Other birds in this region:

  • Black-throated Green Warbler
  • Acadian Flycatcher
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • Gray Catbird
  • Hooded Warbler
  • Louisiana Waterthrush
  • Scarlet Tanager
  • Worm-eating Warbler
  • Blue-winged Warbler
  • Eastern Towhee
  • Prairie Warbler
  • Yellow-breasted Chat

Walpack Fish and Wildlife Management Area/Walpack Valley

The Walpack Valley is bound by the Delaware River, northwest facing slopes of Kittatinny Mountain and the Flatbrook-Roy Wildlife Management Area. In this area, bald eagles, northern goshawks, red-shouldered hawks, barred owls and sharp-shinned and broad-winged hawks can be viewed. Walpack Valley serves as a breeding habitat for cliff swallows, winter wrens, veeries, blue-headed vireos, northern parulas, black-throated green warblers, least flycatchers, cerulean warblers, great blue herons, golden-winged warblers, savannah sparrows, red-headed woodpeckers, ruffed grouse, American woodcocks, brown creepers, hairy woodpeckers, and northern saw-whet owls. Other species in the Walpack Valley area:

  • Black-billed Cuckoo
  • Gray Catbird
  • Wood Duck
  • Wood Thrush
  • Mallard
  • Eastern Towhee
  • Field Sparrow
  • Prairie Warbler
  • Wild Turkey
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee

Fort Mott State Park

Winter visitors at Fort Mott State Park might see ducks not seen during other seasons, specifically the Common Merganser and the rarer Hooded Merganser. Large groups of Dark-eyed Junco gather in the fields, but be prepared for frigid temperatures if the wind is blowing off the river. In spring, large groups of American Robin and Double-crested Cormorant converge on the river’s edge. Walking the trail behind the fort is a great location for eye-level viewing of colorful migrating warblers and other songbirds. Summer visitors can view birds such as Great Egret, Snowy Egret, and Great Blue Heron gather in the area. Fall is probably the season to avoid birdwatching in this area of the Delaware River.

Parvin State Park

Spring birdwatching offers wood warblers, tanagers, and orioles. Parvin State Park also offers guided bird walks during the spring season. Birds that can be viewed include Black-and-white Warbler, Carolina Chickadee, Great Crested Flycatcher, Whip-poor-will, Wild Turkey, Yellow-throated Vireo, Barred Owls, Yellow-billed Cuckoos, and Acadian Flycatchers.

Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

The Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is located in western Salem County along the Delaware River includes four hundred acres of upland forest and wetland, with eighty percent composed of brackish tidal marshes. Here, the state-endangered bald eagle breeds, along with king rails. Colonial wading birds forage in the Supawna habitat, and nine species of heron flourish here. Mallards and northern pintails spend winters at the Supawna Refuge.

Monthly Birdwatching near New Jersey’s Delaware River

  1. October – March: Waterfowl
  2. November – March: Geese
  3. October – April: Sparrows (specifically in weedy fields)
  4.  Mid-April – June: Warblers and passerines (peak viewing – first three weeks of May)
  5. May: Thrushes
  6. Mid-September – November: Raptors migrating south
  7. Winter months: Owls
  8. May, July – September: Shorebirds migrating
  9. July – September: Terns
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