Robinson Neck Preserve (Image courtesy: Dave Harp)

Frank M. Ewing/Robinson Neck Preserve

Robinson Neck Preserve is located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. This preserve is a delight for birders where one can find undisturbed waterfowl habitat and a sanctuary for bald eagles. It is an undisturbed waterfowl and upland wildlife habitat. It also affords a sanctuary for the bald eagle and is an exceptional black duck nesting location. In addition to its plentiful birdlife, this preserve is an ideal habitat for the Delmarva fox squirrel (Sciurus niger cinereus), listed as federally endangered in 1973. An endemic subspecies, the fox squirrel is larger and has a bushier tail than the common gray squirrel. The preserve is about half pine forest and half brackish tidal marsh, with a small area of freshwater marsh. The woods are predominantly loblolly pine, with an understory of American holly and waxmyrtle. The tidal marsh, which produces nutrients that are essential to the Chesapeake ecosystem, features common or Olney threesquare bulrush, narrowleaf cattail, needlerush, and saltmarsh cordgrass.

In the winter one may observe muskrat activities, sika deer, and wintering waterfowl, while May is best for birdwatching. Summer brings a proliferation of flowering plants and marsh grasses, as well as biting insects. Warblers and puddle ducks are abundant in the fall, along with other migratory birds. November and December bring diving ducks to the creeks, geese to the nearby fields, and fewer biting insects.

Robinson Neck was identified as a significant wetland in the 1974 Smithsonian Institution survey of Chesapeake Bay natural areas. It is one of The Nature Conservancy’s largest preserves. The Conservancy chose this site for its protection of waterfowl and bald eagle habitat, as well as its brackish tidal marsh habitat.

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Image Credit: Dave Harp


Established in 1977 by a generous donation from Frank M. Ewing, Robinson Neck is a birder's delight. The preserve's brackish marshes are of extraordinary ecological value for wintering and nesting waterfowl, spawning fish, sediment control and nutrient production.


Last updated: November 11, 2022