Worcester County

Worcester (pronounced like “Wuster”) County is one of the eight counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and is located in the southeast corner of this region. Worcester County is the #1 county in Maryland in terms of  number of bird species, with 401+ species reported on eBird. For the county eBird checklist, eBird hotspots, and more, click here.

View a comparison of Maryland counties based on total number of species reported on eBird.

Worcester County offers excellent birding year-round, but is especially renowned for the winter waterfowl and seabirds that congregate in the Ocean City area. Fall and spring migration bring birds of passage to the waterfront as well as inland areas. And summer features breeding birds on the sandy islets in the sheltered bays as well as in the inland forests and swamps.

Worcester is the only county in Maryland with frontage on the Atlantic Ocean, and as such, includes a thriving resort community centered in Ocean City. The county seat is the historic town of Snow Hill. Another nearby historic town is Berlin (pronounced locally as “Bur-lin” with equal emphasis on the two syllables, rhyming with “merlin,”not like the city in Germany).

Waterways in Worcester County include the Intracoastal Waterway, consisting of Assawoman Bay, Isle of Wight Bay, Sinepuxent Bay, and Chincoteague Bay; these waterways separate the barrier islands of Fenwick Island (which includes Ocean City) and Assateague Island from the mainland. The Pocomoke River and Dividing Creek are also major waterways and form part of the western border of the county. Notable natural habitats exist on Assateague Island and in the Pocomoke River and Swamp. Outside the resort area, the majority of the county is rural, with forested lands and agricultural fields, and there are abundant wetlands. The topography is almost entirely flat. The highest elevation is just 49 feet above sea level – no hills here!

Wicomico County and Somerset County lie to the west; the state of Delaware is to the north; and the state of Virginia is to the south, across the Pocomoke River. The Atlantic Ocean lies to the east.

To view the State Highway Administration’s printable road map of Worcester County (PDF format), please click here.

The local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society is the Tri-County Bird Club, which serves Worcester, Somerset, and Wicomico Counties, and which meets in Salisbury (Wicomico County).

Explore birding sites in Worcester County by choosing from the list below.