Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Aruba - Dec 2016

Last month my girlfriend and I spent a week on the island of Aruba, which lies less than 20 miles from Venezuela. It was our first visit to the island, a place known much more for its beaches than its birds. However we managed to squeeze in some quality birding. I don't think I spent enough time to merit writing any sort of site guides or detailed trip report, but if you are interested in birding on Aruba, please email me privately and I'll share what I learned.

In short, there are no Aruban endemics. Some South American species spill over from the mainland, but not many. Still, there are birds to be seen in some nice pockets of habitat, and being an island, there is always rarity potential. Our best find was probably the juvenile LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL we stumbled across while jet-skiing. We ended up with 67 species while casually birding in bits and pieces - not bad I'd say. I picked up the following life birds: "Cayenne" form of Sandwich Tern, Bare-eyed Pigeon, Blue-tailed Emerald, Brown-throated Parakeet, Northern Scrub-Flycatcher, Venezuelan Troupial, and Yellow Oriole.

"Golden" Yellow Warbler

Burrowing Owl

Northern Waterthrush

Eared Dove

Bare-eyed Pigeon

Brown-throated Parakeet

Venezuelan Troupial

"Cayenne" Sandwich Tern (with Royal Tern at right)

"Cayenne" Sandwich Tern

 - NB

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