When nature decides to change seasons the migratory shorebirds show up at this refuge where they can enjoy the salt marshes, ponds, fields, and forests. The 16,000 acres provide a wonderful habitat for these wonderful birds and other wildlife. The Refuge is an important feeding stop on the Atlantic Flyway.
The Refuge was established in 1937 and now offers walking and auto tours, birdwatching, nature programs, and a visitor center to get all the latest information regarding the refuge. There area twelve miles of auto tour roads within the refuge as well as hiking trails, observation towers, and spotting scopes along the route. With all this available the visitors have an opportunity to get close to the birds and other wildlife.
The staff conducts programs about the unique horseshoe crab and shorebird connection each spring on
Included on the land of the Refuge is the Allee House which is one of the best preserved examples of an early brick farmhouse in
Autumn and spring are busy times for the coastline as thousands of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds make their annual journey. At the refuge there are 256 species of birds, 33 species of mammals, and 37 species of amphibians and reptiles for you to see.
October and November are the best months to view waterfowl such as
FYI – horseshoe crabs are not really crabs, but are related to spiders and scorpions. This living fossil has changed little in 300 million years. The horseshoe crab is also important to medical research whereas in the 50’s it was discovered that the horseshoe crab’s copper-blood contains a special clotting agent called lysate, which attaches to bacterial toxins. During spawning, large female horseshoe crabs are bled, tagged, and returned unharmed to the water. Today, every new drug that leaves a pharmaceutical company is first tested for purity with Limulus Amoebocyte Lysate.
In May, the refuge participates in National Birding Week festivities by hosting special programs and guided hikes, both on-site and at other nearby state wildlife areas and bay beaches. For more information on this year’s birdwatching programs and events call Bombay Hook NWR Office at 302-653-6872 or 302-653-9345.
Email: FW5RW BHNWR@fws.gov