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Aruba

Owls
Burrowing Owls Athene cunicularia ©Wikimedia

Aruba is a constituent country (along with the Netherlands, Curaçao and Sint Maarten) of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the southern Caribbean Sea. Its capital is Oranjestad. The island is located about 990 miles west of the main part of the Lesser Antilles and 18 miles north of the coast of Venezuela. It measures 20 miles long from its northwestern to its southeastern end and is 6 miles across at its widest point. Together with Bonaire and Curaçao, Aruba forms a group referred to as the ABC islands. Collectively, Aruba and the other Dutch islands in the Caribbean are often called the Dutch Caribbean.

Unlike much of the Caribbean region, Aruba has a dry climate and an arid, cactus-strewn landscape. This climate has helped tourism as visitors to the island can reliably expect warm, sunny weather. It has a land area of just under 70 square miles and is densely populated, with a total of 102,484 inhabitants at the 2010 Census. It lies outside of 'Hurricane Alley'.

Aruba is a generally flat, riverless island in the Leeward Antilles island arc of the Lesser Antilles in the southern part of the Caribbean. It has white sandy beaches on the western and southern coasts of the island, relatively sheltered from fierce ocean currents. This is where most tourist development has occurred. The northern and eastern coasts, lacking this protection, are considerably more battered by the sea and have been left largely untouched by humans. The hinterland of the island features some rolling hills.

Being isolated from the main land of South America has helped the evolution of multiple endemic animals. The island provides a habitat for the endemic Aruban Whiptail and Aruba Rattlesnake, as well as endemic subspecies of birds like Burrowing Owl and Brown-throated Parakeet. The flora of Aruba differs from the typical tropical island vegetation. Xeric scrublands are common, with various forms of cacti, thorny shrubs and evergreens. With the most known plant being the Aloe vera.

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 180

Checklist

Checklist

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Useful Reading

Birds of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire

By Bart De Boer, Eric Newton and Robin Restall | 176 pages | 70 colour plates | 5 colour photos | 4 colour maps | Softcover | A & C Black | 2012
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 9781408137277

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Checklist of the Birds of Aruba

prepared by Jeffrey V. Wells - you can download this at: http://www.arubabirds.com/aboutBirds/BirdsofAruba-Checklist.htm

The Birds of the West Indies

By Herbert Raffaele, James Wiley, Orlando Garrido, Allan Keith & Janis Raffaele
Helm Field Guides Sept 2003 Paperback RRP ?16.99p
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 0713654198

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Guides & Tour Operators

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Birding Pal

Information

Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Trip Reports

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CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2012 [03 March] - Jan Wierda

Report

My wife Hetty and I arrived on Aruba at February 19th in the afternoon. We planned to visit our daughter, her husband and 2 sons, who live on the island since September 2011. Everyone in our family is aware of the fact that birding is always my complementary goal, where ever I go. No one was surprised that I brought my binoculars (Zeiss 8x40), telescope (Zeiss 20-60), tripod, camera Nikon 300S and long-focus lens Sigma 120-300 F 2.8. The car rental at the airport went without any problem. Then we went to the place where my daughter’s family is living (Mazurka) close to the Bubali bird centre…

2012 [05 May] - Jacque Lowery

Report

We spent a few short days on Aruba the first week of May, 2012. We stayed at the Hyatt, which probably had the largest variety of birds of any other place we were…

2012 [08 August] - Alf & Jeannine King

Report PDF

Aruba is neither a key nor special place for a birding holiday but offered the opportunity of plenty of sunshine and rest combined with a little recreational birding. The island is very small and not very fertile with a thinly scattered bird population and a few well-known main sites….

Reserves

Arikok National Park

Webpage

Satellite View

The best spot to feel the real natural beauty of the island is in Arikok National Park, which lies in the hilly northeast section of the island. The park consists of rolling hills covered with thorn-scrub vegetation…

Bubali Bird Sanctuary

Webpage

Satellite View

A very large wetland supplied with treated water from the island's sewage treatment facility…

Other Links

Bird Watching Aruba

Website

…Chatty little Bananaquits will partake of fruit you offer from your hotel balcony, while the distinctive piping song you hear around your resort is probably a brilliant orange Troupial. Blue-tailed Emerald and the Ruby-topaz Hummingbirds abound in the flowering bushes that exist on many resort grounds….

Birds of Aruba

Website

Between 11 and 21 November 2010; 7 to 23 June; 13 to 27 November 2011, and 13 to 17 and 21 to 31 May 2012, we were (Antonio Silveira) on the Caribbean island of Aruba, where we had the opportunity to make some observations of fauna, especially its birds….

Birds of Aruba

Website

Welcome to the Birds of Aruba, the website for Aruba-bound birders, tourists, honeymooners, business trevellers, families, and everyone who enjoys birds…

Checklist - Birds of Aruba

Checklist