Curaçao

Pearly-eyed Thrasher Margarops fuscatus ©Dick Daniels Website
Birding Curaçao

Curaçao is a constituent country (along with the Netherlands, Aruba and Sint Maarten) of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the southern Caribbean Sea. Curaçao is a transcontinental island that is geographically part of South America but is also considered to be part of West Indies and one of the Leeward Antilles. Curaçao, in terms of climate, geology, flora and fauna are more akin to nearby Paraguaná Peninsula, Guajira Peninsula, Isla Margarita, Araya and the nearby Venezuelan areas of the Coro region and Falcón State. The flora of Curaçao differs from the typical tropical island vegetation. Xeric scrublands are common, with various forms of cacti, thorny shrubs, evergreens, and the island’s national tree, divi-divis. Curaçao’s highest point is the 375 metre (1,230 ft) Christoffelberg in the northwestern part of the island. This lies in the reserved wildlife park, Curaçao Christoffelpark, and can be explored by car, bike, horse or on foot. Several trails have been laid out. Curaçao has many places where one can hike. There are Saliñas, salt marshes where flamingos fly out to rest and feed. 24km (15 miles) off the coast of Curaçao, to the southeast, lies the small, uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao (Little Curaçao).Curaçao is known for its coral reefs, used for scuba diving. The beaches on the south side contain many popular diving spots. An unusual feature of Curaçao diving is that the sea floor drops steeply within a few hundred feet of the shore, and the reef can easily be reached without a boat. This drop-off is known as the “blue edge.” Strong currents and lack of beaches make the rocky northern coast dangerous for swimming and diving, but experienced divers sometimes dive there from boats when conditions permit. The southern coast is very different and offers remarkably calm waters. The coastline of Curaçao features many bays and inlets, many of them suitable for mooring.Some of the coral reefs are affected by tourism. Porto Marie beach is experimenting with artificial coral reefs in order to improve the reef’s condition. Hundreds of artificial coral blocks that have been placed are now home to a large array of tropical fish.

Climate Curaçao has a semiarid climate with a dry season from January to September and a wet season from October to December. The temperatures are relatively constant with small differences throughout the year. The trade winds bring cooling during the day and the same trade winds bring warming during the night. The coldest month is January with an average temperature of 26.5 °C (79.7 °F) and the warmest month is September with an average temperature of 28.9 °C (84.0 °F). The year’s average maximum temperature is 31.2 °C (88.2 °F). The year’s average minimum temperature is 25.3 °C (78.1 °F). Curaçao lies outside the hurricane belt, but is still occasionally affected by hurricanes.

Contributors
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 217

    As at July 2018
Checklist

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 NHBS.com
  • 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 NHBS.com
  • 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 NHBS.com
  • 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 NHBS.com
Organisations
  • Bird Watching Curaçao

    Website
    Bird Watching Curacao is a project by Curacao Footprint Foundation. A project of volunteers which started out as an educational effort and is now a full blown project of love for birds. Besides bird watching as much as possible, we record all our sightings on eBird and also record behavior by photo or video.
Guides & Tour Operators


Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

  • Bird Watching Curacao

    Guide
    Regular Bird Watching trips - The salt pans of Jan Thiel is considered internationally as an Important Bird Area, where several breeding colonies of coastal and sea birds are confirmed. Let’s discover the bird diversity. Participation is Nafl. 25 pp incl. refreshment and snack. Group remains small, so registration is needed.
Trip Reports


Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

  • 2006 [01 January] - John van der Woude

    Report
    Photos and site locales
  • 2006 [08 August] - Sander Pieterse

    Report
    BirdLife International has the Netherlands Antilles assigned as a so-called ‘Secondary Area’. This is because of the presence of two restricted-range species: Pearly-eyed Thrasher Margarops fuscatus and Yellow-shouldered Parrot Amazona barbadensis. The latter species is also labeled as ‘Vulnerable’ to extinction; it occurs on the adjacent mainland as well. Margarops fuscatus is represented on Bonaire by an endemic subspecies (ssp. bonairensis).
Other Links
  • Curacao Nature

    Website
    Welcome to this site which focuses completely on the nature found on the island of Cura

Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND