Wildlife Watching at Neshaminy State Park
The Delaware Estuary
Can you feel the ocean’s tides in Pennsylvania? You can at Neshaminy State Park.
Waves will not knock you down, but if you watch the river, you can see it rise or fall an inch a minute for an overall change of seven feet between tides. Even though the river flows another 116 miles from here to the ocean, you are at sea level.
When the tide comes in at a New Jersey beach, the water rises here also. Because tides affect this part of the river, it is called an estuary.
American Indians used the rise and fall of tides to trap fish. They built low fences in the river. At high tide, the fish swam over the top of the fence. As the tide went out, the fish were trapped and easily speared.
The Neshaminy freshwater estuary is a unique place. Plants and animals from two worlds meet here, some from the ocean and some from upstream headwaters.
The common birds brochure lists the birds most likely to be seen in the park and in which habitat:
Common Birds of Neshaminy State Park (PDF)
Tidal Marsh Natural Area
This 71-acre state park natural area encompasses part of the freshwater intertidal zone along the shores of the Delaware River and Neshaminy Creek. This area contains wetlands and unique plants.
The forest is part of the Philadelphia Eagles football team's “Go Green” program that focuses on offsetting the Eagles organization’s environmental impact and gets fans interested in conserving natural resources. During 2007, the Philadelphia Eagles kicked off the Eagles Forest at Neshaminy State Park by planting hundreds of trees and shrubs. Together, the Eagles and the DCNR are laying the cornerstone for a healthy forest and healthy habitat.