“I was really excited to get the ID on the last one and learn I hadn’t photographed it yet,” said local photographer Tyler Smiley after successfully photographing his 100th different species of bird from the Delmarva Peninsula recently.
Smiley decided in January to undertake what he called the 100 Birds of Delmarva Project, an effort to photograph at least 100 different species of birds from around the Delmarva Peninsula in a calendar year. Heading into August, he was on 99, needing just one more to reach the century mark.
The 100th bird ended up being photographed close to home, in his Rehoboth Beach neighborhood. The majority of the other 99 were photographed in Cape Henlopen State Park; Assateague Island, Md.; and Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge; though some came from Blackwater Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge , Md., and Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Smyrna.
“This project was a lot of fun because it took me all over the peninsula and allowed me to explore places I otherwise wouldn’t have,” Smiley said. “Though I will say that I wish I had gotten some from Virginia – that was the only part of the peninsula I didn’t get to, or at least, not yet anyway.”
From here, Smiley said he will continue to photograph additional birds around the peninsula as he starts to compile images for a book on the native species. His goal with the book is to offer the most comprehensive guide he can to Delmarva’s resident birds, which he feels requires including more than the 100 he has thus far photographed.
Smiley has created an online gallery on his website. To view the images captured as part of this project, go to tylersmileyphotography.com/portfolios/birds-of-delmarva-2023.
To purchase prints of the different birds, go to tylersmileyphotography.darkroom.com/collections/birds-of-delmarva-2023-edition.