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Bird Checklists of the United States

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Smyrna, Delaware

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge lies low and flat on the Atlantic Coastal Plain along the western shore of Delaware. Nearly two-thirds of its more than 15,000 acres spreads out into tidal salt marsh and cordgrass meadows interrupted by winding rivers and creeks. Away from the bay and marsh are man-made freshwater ponds called impoundments. Upland woods, swamps, brushy thickets, grassy fields, and croplands complete the diversity of habitat which attracts a wide variety of bird life.

Look for greatest numbers of waterfowl during March and November. Shorebirds, wading birds and songbirds are most abundant during May, August and September.

This folder lists 267 birds that have been identified on the Refuge, and is in accordance with the Sixth American Ornithologists Union Checklist.

Most birds are migratory; therefore, their seasonal occurrence is coded as follows:


Sp - Spring - March to May
S - Summer - June to August
F - Fall - September to November
W - Winter - December to February

Relative Abundance

a - abundant: a species which is very numerous
c - common: likely to be seen or heard in suitable habitat
u - uncommon: present, but not certain to be seen
o - occasional: seen only a few times during a season
r - rare: may be present but not every year
* - birds known to nest on or near the refuge
# - threatened or endangered species

LOONS, GREBES Sp S F W ___ Red-throated Loon - - r r ___ Common Loon - r - - ___ Pied-billed Grebe* o o u o ___ Horned Grebe o u o u ___ Eared Grebe - - - r
PELICANS, CORMORANTS Sp S F W ___ American White Pelican - r - r ___ Double-crested Cormorant u u c u
BITTERNS, HERONS, IBISES Sp S F W ___ American Bittern* o u u o ___ Least Bittern* o u o - ___ Great Blue Heron c c a c ___ Great Egret u a c o ___ Snowy Egret o a c r ___ Little Blue Heron o c c - ___ Tricolored Heron o u o r ___ Cattle Egret o u o - ___ Green Heron* c c c r ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron c c c u ___ Yellow-crowned Night-Heron o o o o ___ Glossy Ibis c c u -
SWANS, GEESE, DUCKS Sp S F W ___ Fulvous Whistling-Duck r r r - ___ Tundra Swan o r c u ___ Mute Swan r r r o ___ Greater White-Fronted Goose r - r r ___ Snow Goose c r a a ___ Ross' Goose r - r r ___ Canada Goose* a c a a ___ Wood Duck* c c a o ___ Green-winged Teal a o a c ___ American Black Duck* c c c c ___ Mallard* a c a a ___ Northern Pintail a o a a ___ Blue-winged Teal* c u a r ___ Northern Shoveler* c o a u ___ Gadwall* c a a u ___ Eurasian Wigeon r r r o ___ American Wigeon c o a c ___ Canvasback - - o o ___ Redhead o - o o ___ Ring-necked Duck o - u o ___ Greater Scaup u o u u ___ Lesser Scaup u - u u ___ Oldsquaw - r u o ___ Black Scoter o r o o ___ Surf Scoter o - o o ___ White-winged Scoter o - o o ___ Common Goldeneye u r u u ___ Bufflehead c r c c ___ Hooded Merganser u o u c ___ Common Merganser u r c c ___ Red-breasted Merganser u r u u ___ Ruddy Duck c o c c
VULTURES, HAWKS, FALCONS Sp S F W ___ Black Vulture o o o o ___ Turkey Vulture* c c c c ___ Osprey* o o o - ___ Bald Eagle*# u u u u ___ Northern Harrier* c o c c ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk o o o o ___ Cooper's Hawk o r o o ___ Red-shouldered Hawk* o o o o ___ Broad-winged Hawk r r r - ___ Red-tailed Hawk* u o c c ___ Rough-legged Hawk o - o c ___ Golden Eagle - - r r ___ American Kestrel* u u c c ___ Merlin r - o r ___ Peregrine Falcon# r - u r
PHEASANT, QUAIL, TURKEY Sp S F W ___ Ring-necked Pheasant* c c c c ___ Wild Turkey u u u u ___ Northern Bobwhite* c c c c
RAILS, COOT Sp S F W ___ Black Rail r r r - ___ Clapper Rail* c c c o ___ King Rail* c c c o ___ Virginia Rail* u u u o ___ Sora u o u - ___ Common Moorhen* o u o r ___ American Coot* u u u u
PLOVERS, SANDPIPERS Sp S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover c u c o ___ American Golden Plover o r o - ___ Semipalmated Plover c u c r ___ Killdeer* c c c u ___ American Oystercatcher r - - - ___ Black-necked Stilt* u c o - ___ American Avocet u c u r ___ Greater Yellowlegs c c a o ___ Lesser Yellowlegs c c c o ___ Solitary Sandpiper o o o - ___ Willet* a a o r ___ Spotted Sandpiper u o u - ___ Upland Sandpiper r - r - ___ Whimbrel r r r - ___ Hudsonian Godwit r o o - ___ Marbled Godwit - r r - ___ Ruddy Turnstone a o u - ___ Red Knot a o o - ___ Sanderling c o c - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper a c a - ___ Western Sandpiper o o c r ___ Least Sandpiper c c c r ___ White-rumped Sandpiper u o u - ___ Baird's Sandpiper r r r - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper o c c r ___ Dunlin a o a c ___ Curlew Sandpiper r r r - ___ Stilt Sandpiper u c u - ___ Buff-breasted Sandpiper - r r - ___ Ruff r o o - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher c c a r ___ Long-billed Dowitcher - o o - ___ Common Snipe c o c u ___ American Woodcock* c u c r ___ Wilson's Phalarope o u o - ___ Red-necked Phalarope o - r -
GULLS, TERNS Sp S F W ___ Laughing Gull c c c - ___ Bonaparte's Gull o o o - ___ Ring-billed Gull c u a c ___ Herring Gull c c a c ___ Great Black-backed Gull c c c c ___ Gull-billed Tern o o - - ___ Caspian Tern o u u - ___ Royal Tern - o r - ___ Common Tern o o o - ___ Forster's Tern o c c - ___ Least Tern# o c - - ___ Black Tern r o o - ___ Black Skimmer o u o -
DOVES, CUCKOOS, OWLS, SWIFTS, HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Rock Dove* o o o o ___ Mourning Dove* c c a c ___ Black-billed Cuckoo* o o o - ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo* c c c - ___ Barn Owl* u u u u ___ Eastern Screech-Owl* u u u u ___ Great Horned Owl* c c c c ___ Barred Owl* c c c c ___ Long-eared Owl - - r r ___ Short-eared Owl* o - o o ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl r - r r ___ Common Nighthawk o o o - ___ Whip-poor-will o o - - ___ Chimney Swift c c c - ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird* c c c - ___ Belted Kingfisher* c u c c
WOODPECKERS, FLYCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Red-headed Woodpecker r - r r ___ Red-bellied Woodpecker* c c c c ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker o - o o ___ Downy Woodpecker* c c c c ___ Hairy Woodpecker* u u u u ___ Northern Flicker* c c c o ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee* c a c - ___ Acadian Flycatcher* u c o - ___ Alder Flycatcher r - r - ___ Willow Flycatcher* o c o - ___ Least Flycatcher o - o - ___ Eastern Phoebe* c u c r ___ Great Crested Flycatcher* c c c - ___ Eastern Kingbird* c a c -
LARKS, SWALLOWS, JAYS, CROWS Sp S F W ___ Horned Lark* u o u u ___ Purple Martin* c c o - ___ Tree Swallow* c a a r ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow u o u - ___ Bank Swallow o c c - ___ Barn Swallow* c c c r ___ Blue Jay* c c c c ___ American Crow* c c c c ___ Fish Crow* c c c o
TITMICE, NUTHATCHES, WRENS Sp S F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee - - r r ___ Carolina Chickadee* c c c c ___ Tufted Titmouse* c c c c ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch o - u u ___ White-breasted Nuthatch u o u u ___ Brown Creeper c - c c ___ Carolina Wren* c c c c ___ House Wren* c c c r ___ Winter Wren u - c c ___ Sedge Wren* o o o r ___ Marsh Wren* c c c o
KINGLETS, THRUSHES, THRASHERS Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet o - c c ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet c - c o ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher* c u o r ___ Eastern Bluebird* u u u u ___ Veery c o c - ___ Gray-cheecked Thrush o - o - ___ Swainson's Thrush u - u - ___ Hermit Thrush c - c o ___ Wood Thrush* c c c - ___ American Robin* c c c o ___ Gray Catbird* c c c o ___ Northern Mockingbird* c c c c ___ Brown Thrasher* c c c o
WAXWINGS, SHRIKES, STARLING Sp S F W ___ American Pipit u - u o ___ Cedar Waxwing o r o o ___ Loggerhead Shrike r - r r ___ European Starling* a a a a
VIREOS, WOOD WARBLERS Sp S F W ___ White-eyed Vireo* c c c - ___ Solitary Vireo o - o - ___ Yellow-throated Vireo* o o o - ___ Red-eyed Vireo* a a a - ___ Blue-winged Warbler o - o - ___ Golden-winged Warbler o - o - ___ Tennessee Warbler o - o - ___ Nashville Warbler o - o - ___ Northern Parula c o c - ___ Yellow Warbler* c c c - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler c o c - ___ Magnolia Warbler c - c - ___ Cape May Warbler o - o - ___ Black-throated Blue Warbler c - c - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler a - a c ___ Black-throated Green Warbler c - c - ___ Blackburnian Warbler o o o - ___ Pine Warbler c o o - ___ Prairie Warbler c o o - ___ Palm Warbler c - c r ___ Bay-breasted Warbler o - o - ___ Blackpoll Warbler c - c - ___ Cerulean Warbler r - - - ___ Black-and-white Warbler c o c - ___ American Redstart* c o c - ___ Prothonotary Warbler* u o o - ___ Worm-eating Warbler o - r - ___ Ovenbird c u c - ___ Northern Waterthrush c o c - ___ Louisiana Waterthrush* o o o - ___ Kentucky Warbler* u u o - ___ Common Yellowthroat* c a c r ___ Hooded Warbler r r r - ___ Wilson's Warbler o - o - ___ Canada Warbler c o o - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat* u u u r
TANAGERS, SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ Scarlet Tanager* c c c - ___ Northern Cardinal* c c c c ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak o u o - ___ Blue Grosbeak* c c u - ___ Indigo Bunting* c c u - ___ Rufous-sided Towhee* c c c o ___ American Tree Sparrow o - u u ___ Chipping Sparrow* u u u r ___ Field Sparrow* c c c c ___ Savannah Sparrow c r c c ___ Grasshopper Sparrow* o u o - ___ Sharp-tailed Sparrow* a a a o ___ Seaside Sparrow* a a a o ___ Fox Sparrow o - u u ___ Song Sparrow* c c c c ___ Swamp Sparrow* c c c c ___ White-throated Sparrow a - a a ___ White-crowned Sparrow o - o o ___ Dark-eyed Junco c - c c ___ Lapland Longspur - - - o ___ Snow Bunting - - o u
BLACKBIRDS, FINCHES Sp S F W ___ Bobolink - u c c ___ Red-winged Blackbird* a a a a ___ Eastern Meadowlark* u u u u ___ Rusty Blackbird c - c u ___ Boat-tailed Grackle o o u u ___ Common Grackle* a c a c ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* c c c c ___ Orchard Oriole* c u o - ___ Baltimore Oriole u u o - ___ Purple Finch o - r r ___ House Finch* o - u u ___ Common Redpoll - - r r ___ Pine Siskin r - r r ___ American Goldfinch* u c c u ___ Evening Grosbeak r - r r ___ House Sparrow* u u u u
For further information contact:
                     Refuge Manager
                     Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
                     2591 Whitehall Neck Road
                     Smyrna, Delaware 19977-9764
                     Telephone: 302/653-9345

Bombay Hook is one of more than 430 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Wildlife Refuge System is a network of lands and waters managed specifically for the protection of wildlife and wildlife habitat and represents the most comprehensive wildlife resource management program in the world. Units of the system stretch across the United States from northern Alaska to the Florida Keys, and include small islands in the Caribbean and South Pacific. The character of the refuges is as diverse as the nation itself.

The Service also manages National Fish Hatcheries, and provides Federal leadership in habitat protection, fish and wildlife research, technical assistance and the conservation and protection of migratory birds, certain marine mammals and threatened and endangered species.

This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1993.  Birds of Bombay Hook National Wildlife 
     Refuge, Delaware.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1993.  Birds of Bombay Hook National Wildlife 
     Refuge, Delaware.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     (Version 22MAY98).

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