The Beacon Inn

Posted on 11-17-2021

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Wildlife & Animals in Delaware

One of the great things about Delaware, and in particular our town of Lewes, is the natural environment that is all around us, providing a home to all manner of wildlife and animals. There are some animals that are common throughout the state, others slightly rarer to spot, and, of course, plenty of birds to catch sight of.

This month at the The Beacon Inn, we’ll be taking you through the wonderful wildlife of our great state. And if you’re keen to get a glimpse of any of these majestic creatures for yourself, there’s no better place to stay than with us in Lewes.

Spotting a Grey Fox in Delaware DE

Whether you’re a keen birdwatcher or you want to get the kids involved in exploring the world around them, book a room with us at The Beacon Inn for the perfect place to start the day on your wildlife adventure.

Common Animals

Our state, with its varied habitats, is home to a wide range of common animals that you might spot while out walking, driving, or cycling. Common animals you’ll likely see in Delaware include:

  • Foxes
  • Muskrats
  • River Otters
  • White-tailed Deer
  • Groundhogs
  • Opossums
  • Bats
  • Raccoons
  • Squirrels
  • Snakes


Because of where we’re located, a wildlife piece wouldn’t be complete without giving a special mention to the birds of Delaware. Part of the migration route for many species, as well as offering great natural habitats backed by organizations such as Delaware Wild Lands and Ducks Unlimited, you can spot a wide range of birds, including:

  • Wood Duck
  • Willet
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Snowy Egret
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Osprey
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Northern Harrier
  • Mallard
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Lesser Yellowlegs
  • Green Heron
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Great Egret
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Glossy Ibis
  • Eastern Screech Owl
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Bald Eagle
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Turkey

Cape Henlopen State Park is close to our location and a great place to spot some of these species, though it should be noted that certain parts of the park are closed from March to September to protect nesters and migratory shorebirds.

To learn more about our state’s birds, see Delawonder’s Bird Guide.

Official State Animals

Delaware State Animals: Blue Hen, Horseshoe Crab, Grey Fox

As with all states, here in Delaware we have a number of state animals. The four main ones – and most well known – are:

Blue Hen

The official state bird since 1939, the blue hen has been a symbol and mascot for many in Delaware.


Unsurprisingly, Delaware is a popular place for fishing, so in 1981 the game and food fish species, weakfish, became the state fish.

Horseshoe Crab

In 2002, the importance of the horseshoe crab – along with the fact that Delaware Bay is home to more of them than anywhere else in the world – was recognized as it became the official state marine animal.

Grey Fox

The state wildlife animal is the grey fox, indigenous to the state and suggested by a fourth-grade student in an impassioned piece of writing back in 2010.

In addition to these, we also have a state bug, the Lady Bug, and rescue dogs are our state dog in honor of our passion for helping and caring for homeless dogs.

Dangerous Animals

All animals are just that at the end of the day: animals. They’re great to watch from a safe distance, and while almost all in Delaware are docile enough – or careful enough to avoid close quarters with humans – it’s worth remembering that animals such as foxes and deer can be unpredictable and shouldn’t be approached.

Copperheads and Timber rattlesnakes are venomous snakes known to live in Delaware and can bite when they feel threatened, so if spotted, these should always be avoided, using caution when around wooded and watery areas.

Endangered Animals

Sadly, Delaware is home to a number of animals at risk of going extinct. Our endangered animals include the following birds:

  • American Kestrel
  • Short-eared Owl
  • Swainson’s Warbler
  • Piping Plover
  • Cerulean Warbler
  • Black-Crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
  • Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron
  • Red Knot
  • Black Rail
  • Sedge Wren
  • Least Tern
  • Black Skimmer
  • Upland Sandpiper

In addition, the following mammals are listed as endangered species for Delaware:

  • Little Brown Bat
  • Northern Long-eared Bat
  • Delmarva Fox Squirrel
  • Blue Whale
  • Fin Whale
  • Humpback Whale
  • North Atlantic Right Whale
  • Sei Whale
  • Sperm Whale

You can find out more about the wildlife local to our specific area of Southern Delaware over at Delawonder. This is a great resource for visitors and highlights common mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds.

Excited to see which animals you’ll find? Why not stay at our beautiful beach hotel? Perfect for vacations – whether you’re an avid nature fan or not – we’re ideally placed by the beach in Lewes, DE.

Our friendly and courteous team provides a warm welcome and advice on the local area for all guests, and it’s why people keep coming back to stay with us.

Learn more about our hotel, and things to do in Lewes DE.

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