Heron Survey

Help monitor herons and ibises going to and from the Pea Patch Island Heronry

One of the largest colonies in the mid-Atlantic

Pea Patch Island Heron Survey

Pea Patch Island, located just off Delaware City, hosts one of the largest breeding colonies of herons and egrets in the mid-Atlantic region.

The DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation takes a monthly census of birds using the colony. Led by counter Chris Bennett, herons, egrets, and ibis leaving and returning to the colony are counted in the evening to estimate the size of the colony.

Please join Chris and the other volunteer counters for the monthly census.  This is a great opportunity to learn how to identify these beautiful birds- beginners are welcome.  A number of other species are often seen during the survey including Osprey and Bald Eagle.

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The surveys run from February to August and they are scheduled for the last Wednesday of the month. They always begin 2 hours before sunset and end 30 minutes after sunset. It is possible that the date can change due to weather or be cancelled outright if there is not a rain-free day during the week the survey is scheduled.

During the COVID19 public health emergency, please note that anyone attending the survey is required to wear a mask and must maintain safe physical distancing from other participants at all times.

2022 Survey Dates

Feb 23
Mar 30
Apr 27
May 25
Jun 29
Jul 27
Aug 24


The survey is conducted from the northeastern end of Battery Park in Delaware City at the end of Clinton Street.