Bombay Hook NWR, Smyrna, Delaware: The story of Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is a story of waterfowl—hundreds of thousands of ducks and geese arriving in the fall to rest and feed before heading further south or to winter over. The flocks of snow geese have been compared to the herds of wildebeest on Africa’s Serengeti. No less impressive are the Canada geese, pintails, gadwalls, and teal. But the story doesn’t end with waterfowl. In spring, millions of ancient horseshoe crabs come ashore to lay their eggs, providing food for tens of thousands of shorebirds: red knots, ruddy turnstones, semi-palmated sandpipers, and black-bellied plovers. And in the fall, one may find a flock of 250 dainty avocets with their slender up-curved bills and rusty heads and necks. Bald eagles nest here and can often be seen soaring above or fishing in the tidal flats. Diamondback terrapins, once near extinction, lay their eggs here. Mammals include white-tailed deer, foxes, muskrats, beavers, and river otters. And there are all manner of colorful songbirds—blue grossbeaks, scarlet tanagers, prothonotary warblers, and orchard orioles, to name just a few. Enjoy the 12-mile auto-tour route, hiking trails, and observation/photography towers. But be sure to bring the insect repellent, especially on spring and summer visits.Hide.