Burrowing Owls Athene cunicularia ©Wikimedia
Birding Aruba

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: 219

    (As at September 2018)
Useful Reading

  • Birds of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao: A Site and Field Guide

    | By Jeffrey V Wells, Allison Childs Wells & Robert Dean | Comstock Publishing Associates | 2017 | Paperback | 474 pages, 59 plates with colour illustrations; colour photos, colour maps | ISBN: 9781501701078 Buy this book from
  • Birds of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire

    | By Bart De Boer, Eric Newton & Robin Restall | A & C Black | 2012 | Paperback | 176 pages | 70 colour plates | 5 colour photos | 4 colour maps | ISBN: 9781408137277 Buy this book from
  • Checklist of the Birds of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire: South Caribbean

    | By TG Prins, JH Reuter, AO Debrot, J Wattel & V Nijman | Netherlands Ornithologist Union | 2009 | Hardback | 268 pages, maps, colour photos | #187100 | ISBN: Buy this book from
  • The Birds of the West Indies

    | By Guy M Kirwan, Anthony Levesque, Mark W Oberle & Christopher J Sharpe | Lynx Edicions | 2019 | 400 pages, 1600+ colour illustrations, 650+ colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9788416728176 Buy this book from

Abbreviations Key

  • BS Bubali Wetlands

    WebpageSatellite View
    A very large wetland supplied with treated water from the island's sewage treatment facility…
  • NP Arikok

    WebpageSatellite 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…
Trip Reports

Click on WAND to see Fatbirder’s Trip Report Repository…

  • 2012 [03 March] - Jan Wierda

    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

    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….
  • 2017 [04 April] - Max Berlijn - Aruba and Bonaire

    Report PDF
    Clean up the Holarctic Carrabin species
Other Links
  • Birding in Aruba

    …On a jeep ride through Arikok National Park, a hilly, rocky part of the island opposite the white-sand beaches, two crested caracaras perched as close to the gravel road as they could get (as if people-watching). We saw adorable, chatty bananaquits on the beautiful flowers at—of all places—our hotel. Even the troupials, large oriole-like birds, were everywhere.….
  • Birds of Aruba

    We have been traveling to the ABCs since 1993. Some years, we visited the islands more than once. Most years, we traveled to Aruba as part of the Ageless Jazz Band, performing at resorts in the evenings during extended visits, Jeff as lead trumpet player, Allison as vocalist. Jeff has a Ph.D. in ornithology from Cornell University and is currently senior scientist for the International Boreal Conservation Campaign, which is working toward the conservation of North America's last great wilderness—the Boreal Forest.
  • Birds of Aruba

    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

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