When to See Horseshoe Crabs in Delaware in 2021

Delaware, Featured

March 8, 2021

Horseshoe crab season in Delaware will be here soon!

The Delaware Bay has the largest concentration of spawning horseshoe crabs in the world, and every spring in May and June, tens of thousands of horseshoe crabs will lay their eggs on the shores of the Delaware Bay. It is a true phenomenon and you don’t want to miss it. 

While I cannot guarantee that there will be lots of horseshoe crabs on any given date, here are my recommendations for the best days to see horseshoe crabs in Delaware in 2021.

Horseshoe crabs on a beach in Delaware

The best dates to see horseshoe crabs in 2021

These dates are based on when new moons and full moons happen in the months of May and June 2021.

Saturday, May 8 -Saturday, May 15: New Moon

Tuesday, May 25-Saturday, May 29: Full Moon

Wednesday, June 9-Monday, June 14: New Moon

Wednesday, June 23-Monday, June 28

Using Tide Charts to Know What Time to Go

To know what time to go out to the beach and look for horseshoe crabs, use a tide chart, and time your horseshoe crab hunting at night during high tide. I like this tide chart from US Harbors, and I set the location as Bowers Beach, Delaware. I recommend getting tho the beach about 30 minutes before the scheduled high tide.

For example, check the dates above to see the days that you are most likely to see horseshoe crabs. Find the date you are interested in on the tide chart. See what time the PM high tide happens. Plan to be at the beach at least 30 minutes before the exact high tide time.

In the example below, if I am planning to go looking for horseshoe crabs on Tuesday, May 11 during the new moon, high tide will be at 10:12pm so I will plan to be at the beach around 9:45pm.

Horseshoe crabs on a beach in Delaware

Sunset High Tide Dates: 

These are the dates when high tide, new/full moon, and sunset happen all at the same time. These are going to be some of the best days to photograph horseshoe crabs because there will still be sunlight outside.

Saturday, May 8: Sunset is at 8:00pm and high tide is at 8:27pm

Monday, May 24: Sunset is at 8:15pm and high tide is at 8:30pm

Tuesday, May 25: Sunset is at 8:16pm and high tide is at 9:21pm

Monday, June 7: Sunset is at 8:24pm and high tide is at 8:30pm

Tuesday, June 8: Sunset is at 8:25pm and high tide is at 9:08pm

Tuesday, June 22: Sunset is at 8:30pm and high tide is at 8:09pm

Wednesday, June 23: Sunset is at 8:30pm and high tide is at 9:04pm

How to See Horseshoe Crabs

Now that you know when to see the horseshoe crabs, I also wrote an entire blog about how to see them, and you can check that out here. 

Shop Horseshoe Crab Art + Merchandise

Get yourself some horseshoe crab art, prints, or home decor to celebrate horseshoe crab season! I love painting and photographing horseshoe crabs, and I sell my photos and artwork through Society6, RedBubble, and my own print shop. You can order all kinds of things with horseshoe crabs including art prints, photo prints, shirts, stickers, notebooks, and more!

Check out my shop >>

Happy horseshoe crab season!

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Hi there! I'm Abby. 
I'm a traveling photographer, writer, and artist and I'm most passionate about using visual communication connecting people with the outdoors.


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