Delaware Birding Trail
Forest & Farmland Region
Delaware's backbone is dominated by quiet farmland, quaint small towns, and growing small cities, but sizable forest preserves, numerous millponds, and meandering streams provide habitat for many interesting breeding and migrant birds.
Abbott's Mill Nature Center
3 miles southwest of Milford
Managed by: Delaware Nature Society
Web site: www.delawarenaturesociety.org/AbbottsMillNatureCenter
Set on the shore of a small pristine mill pond, this site is the nexus of an expanding network of walking and paddling trails and is good for woodland birds at any season. Resident species include Barred Owl and Pileated Woodpecker; summer brings breeding Prothonotary and other warblers.
Start by taking the short loop trail that begins just north of the nature center, then returns to the mill along Johnson Branch. The small nature center, operated by the Delaware Nature Society, maintains a fine collection of live specimens of native reptiles, amphibians, and fish. The restored mill is a scenic attraction and may be available for tours; call ahead to enquire.
Directions to Abbott's Mill Nature Center:
From the intersection of US 113 and Route 36 (Shawnee Road) southwest of Milford, take Route 36 west for 1.8 miles, turning right (N) on Abbott's Pond Road (Road 620). After 0.6 mile, the road crosses the dam between the pond and the old mill; turn right into the driveway immediately thereafter.
Killens Pond State Park
4 miles northeast of Harrington
Managed by: Delaware State Parks
Web site: www.destateparks.com/park/killens-pond/
Killens Pond State Park features a brand new nature center and the Pondside Nature Trail, a 3.2-mile footpath through the forest encircling a 66-acre millpond. Boat rentals are available in season for water-based explorations. Killens is a good place to find Prothonotary Warbler and a variety of other typically southern species.
Directions for Killens Pond State Park:
From the intersection of US 13 & Route 14 in Harrington, take US 13 north 4.2 miles. Turn right (E) on Killens Pond Road and go 1.2 miles to the park entrance, which is on the right (S) side of the road. The Pondside Nature Trail can be accessed from the parking lot at the end of the main park road.
Lums Pond State Park
7 miles south of Newark
Managed by: Delaware State Parks
Web site: www.destateparks.com/park/lums-pond/
Lums Pond State Park covers nearly 1800 acres, just north of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. The extensive network of walking trails around the pond is productive not only for forest birds, but also for field and edge species. For those not up for the full 7.5-mile Swamp Forest Trail, which circles the entire pond, try walking portions of the trail around the pond's northwest arm, accessed from the Whale Wallow Nature Center.
The section of the Swamp Forest Trail around the northeast extension of the pond, near the dog training area, is also worthwhile and features expanses of field and thicket habitats.
Directions for Lums Pond State Park:
From the intersection of Route 896 and US 40 at Glasgow, south of Newark, go south on Route 896 for 2.6 miles to Howell School Road. Turn left (E) onto Howell School Road and go 0.4 mile to the park entrance. The Whale Wallow Nature Center is located 0.6 mile down the park road, on the left (W). For the dog training area, continue west on Howell School Road past the main park entrance another 1.3 miles, then take a sharp right turn (SW) onto Buck Jersey Road. Go 0.3 mile down Buck Jersey Road; the dog training area parking lot is to the right (E).
The Delaware Birding Trail is a joint project of the following:
- Delaware Audubon Society
- Delmarva Ornithological Society, dosbirds.org
- Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control,
Division of Fish & Wildlife, dnrec.delaware.gov
This project was funded, in part, through the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife with funding from the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program, Division of Federal Assistance, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Original Text by Jeffrey A. Gordon
Delaware Birding Trail by Jeffrey A. Gordon is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.