Cover image for Birds of Delaware
Birds of Delaware
Hess, Gene K., 1955-
Publication Information:
Pittsburgh, Pa. : University of Pittsburgh Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xvii, 635 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 29 cm.
Subject Term:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL684.D3 B57 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



Delaware's location in the mid-Atlantic region on the Atlantic flyway, as well as the geologic evolution of Delaware's Piedmont and Coastal Plain, have resulted in a great variety of bird life--virtually all species regularly encountered in the East. Birds of Delaware is the first comprehensive book on birds in the state, containing accounts of 418 species, and the first state book to integrate breeding bird atlas survey results with all other available information on a state's wild birds. Destined to be a definitive reference work for years to come, Birds of Delaware includes innovative graphic presentations on breeding and seasonal distribution, relative abundance of species, nesting season, and winter population changes. Primarily concerned with species accounts for breeding birds, migrants, and rare visitors.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Like many other states, Delaware has completed its first modern survey of breeding birds by a state-wide census program. Written by Hess (Delaware Museum of Natural History) and others at the University of Delaware, this five-year atlas project involved more than 100 field observers; the accumulated data provide the basis of much of this book. Major contributions concerning long-term trends of bird populations were also provided by the federal breeding bird survey in Delaware (25 years) and the local Christmas bird counts (especially 1966-89). In all, these data have allowed the authors to present detailed accounts for the 418 species recorded here. Typical accounts include a summary of the bird's habitat requirements, status during migration, breeding distribution (with a state map), and wintering range within Delaware. Species discussions include long-term trends and much additional information on nesting (e.g., clutch-completion dates). Introductory chapters provide overviews of the state's environment, ornithological history, and bird conservation. A series of 11 essays offers excellent summaries of specialized topics such as Delaware's hawk migrations and pelagic birding. An exemplary review of a state's avifauna. All levels. C. Leck; emeritus, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick

Table of Contents

Howard P. BrokawGregory A. InskipChandler S. RobbinsMaurice V. Barnhill IIICharles R. VickersWinston J. WayneNorman G. WilderWilliam H. MeredithRobert W. RussellH. Lloyd AlexanderHoward P. BrokawRoland R. RothJohn T. LinehanGregory A. InskipRichard L. West
List of Figures, Maps, and Tablesp. vii
Forewordp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
List of Abbreviationsp. xvii
Chapter 1. Delaware Habitatsp. 3
Geology and Landformsp. 3
Soilsp. 3
Climatep. 4
Wetlandsp. 5
Aquatic Environmentsp. 7
The Delaware Estuary and Inland Baysp. 7
Beach and Dunelandp. 8
Forestsp. 8
Agricultural Landp. 11
Chapter 2. Conservation of Delaware Birdsp. 12
Declining Speciesp. 12
Extirpated Breeding Speciesp. 12
Rare and Threatened Breeding Speciesp. 12
Other Species with Low Breeding Populationsp. 12
Breeding Species of Management Concernp. 12
Other Declining Breeding Speciesp. 13
Migrants and Winter Visitors of Management Concernp. 13
Increasing Speciesp. 13
Habitat Degradation and Lossp. 14
The Future of Bird Conservation in Delawarep. 19
Chapter 3. Early Bird Records and the Growth of Ornithology in Delawarep. 21
The Earliest Recordsp. 21
The Eighteenth Centuryp. 22
Progress Toward Systematic Ornithology in Delawarep. 23
The Twentieth Centuryp. 24
Essay: History of Breeding Bird Atlasesp. 26
Chapter 4. Introduction to the Delaware Breeding Bird Atlasp. 27
Objectivesp. 27
Atlas Organizationp. 27
Methodsp. 27
Relative Abundance Studyp. 32
Atlas Resultsp. 32
Changes in Delaware Breeding Avifaunap. 35
Chapter 5. Introduction to the Species Accountsp. 37
The State Listp. 37
Nomenclature and Arrangementp. 37
Sourcesp. 37
Definitions of Termsp. 41
Species Accountsp. 44
Essay: Pelagic Birdingp. 52
Essay: Pea Patch Island: A Siege of Herons (and Egrets and Ibises)p. 69
Essay: Snow Geesep. 99
Essay: Canada Goose Managementp. 105
Essay: Delaware's Coastal Impoundments and Their Birdsp. 133
Essay: Hawk Migration in Delaware: Timing, Magnitude, and Ecologyp. 162
Essay: Birds and the Lawp. 185
Essay: Spring Shorebirds on Delaware Bayp. 233
Essay: Forest Fragmentation and Forest Birdsp. 431
Essay: Blackbird Roosts in Delawarep. 523
Essay: Irruptive Northern Visitors to Delawarep. 543
A. Common and Scientific Names of Animals and Plantsp. 563
B. The Breeding Bird Atlas and Relative Abundance Study Gridp. 565
C. Relative Abundance Studyp. 566
D. Breeding Dates and Clutch Sizesp. 567
E. Breeding Bird Surveyp. 569
F. Breeding Bird Censusp. 570
G. May Counts (Delaware Spring Roundup)p. 571
H. Christmas Bird Countsp. 573
I. Trend Analysis of Delaware Bird Populationsp. 574
J. Estimates of State Populations of Breeding Birdsp. 579
Observers and Sourcesp. 583
Literature Citedp. 603
Sources of Illustrationsp. 630
Addendump. 630
Indexp. 631