Experience the best of year-round birding on the Delmarva Peninsula

Ocean City and Assateague Island Summer Breeding Bird Boat Tours

Delmarva Birding Weekends have partnered with Ocean City boat Captain Brad McCabe of Bay Time Charters to offer summer breeding bird boat trips in the coastal bays behind Ocean City and Assateague. The tours are being offered to see nesting herons, egrets and Glossy Ibis, as well as endangered Royal Terns and Black Skimmers. The three-hour tours begin with the busy northern bays which include Tern Island, Skimmer Island, and two other unnamed islands rife with Forster’s Terns, Snowy Egrets, American Oystercatchers, and Black-crowned Night-Herons.

Photo taken by Isaac Guerrero during the August 1st tour.

The aquatic safari then heads south past the gauntlet of nesting Ospreys for a jaunt behind Assateague. There, amidst the Assateague wild horses, Royal Terns and Black Skimmers are doing some feathered embracing on a newly restored island north of Assateague’s Verrazano Bridge. Bottlenose dolphin have also been making an appearance by the Ocean City inlet. The 28-mile trip ends in Chincoteague Bay with great looks at the full complement of colonial nesting wading birds at South Point Spoils. These include Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, Tri-colored Herons, Little Blue Herons, Black-crowned Night-Herons, Glossy Ibis, Double-crested Cormorants and Brown Pelicans.

These in-boat-only tours do not enter the islands as this would greatly disturb the birds and jeopardize breeding and chick-rearing success. Guides Dave Wilson and Jim Rapp have been engaging in bird conservation in the coastal bays for more than 20 years including working with the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, Audubon Maryland-DC, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and US Army Corps of Engineers.

The three-hour guided tour embarks from the West Ocean City boat ramp (click here for a Google Map). It includes snacks and cold beverages. Guests can register for a scheduled tour for $75/person on the following dates:

Saturday, Aug. 19, 8:30-11:30 a.m.



Guests may register for the scheduled trips individually; however, the minimum number for a trip to embark is four people. If we do not reach capacity, you will be contacted at least 24 hours prior and your money refunded. Groups can also schedule a personalized private boat tour for up to 6 guests for $400/excursion.

Click here for a list of birding tips to prepare for an enjoyable experience. For more information, to register for a scheduled trip by check or cash, or to schedule a private group trip, please contact Dave Wilson at (443) 523-2201 or marshhawk67@gmail.com. Book your trip now before nesting season is over and the birds begin their journey south this fall!


The 22nd annual Spring Delmarva Birding Weekend was held April 27 – 30, 2017. Thank you to our guests, guides, outfitters, sponsors, boat captains, land managers, refuge staff, private landowners, bartenders, servers, hotel managers, innkeepers, tourism professionals, economic development leaders, writers, photographers, web gurus and everyone who made the 22nd annual Spring Delmarva Birding Weekend a fantastic success.

Most of all, thank you to the birds for sharing the Delmarva Peninsula with us. 182 species were tallied during the event. Click the link for a complete species list, along with some photos from this weekend’s field trips.

PHOTO CREDITS: All bird photos courtesy of Frode Jacobsen and Nico Sarbanes. Birder photographs provided by the Delmarva Birding Weekends.