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A Report from

Bonaire,  22 January -6 February 2014,

Ben and Nelly de Kruijff

We visited Bonaire for the third time in the last decade and decided to report our findings of our last trip  to help future birders. We visited all potential good birding locations several times. The best places were pos mangel and put bronswinkel in the national park, lac bay and surroundings, the Salinas on the south site of the island and the sewage works at the LVV site which is located on the right hand site of the road from Kralendijk to Lagoen Hill ,about 1 km after the last houses of Kralendijk.

We used the Helm Field Guide:Birds of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire” by Bart de Boer, Eric Newton and Robin Restall (2012).Despite the poor quality of much of the pictures and the errors in the text (for instance: the book reports that the house sparrow does not occur on Bonaire but it was a common bird on all our trips to Bonaire) we made good use of the book. Together with field guides from northern and southern America we were able to identify all birds that we saw .In the bird list we used the English names  and order from the Helm Field Guide. As map we used the free map provided by the tourist office. All  locations mentioned in the text can be found in the map. The direct flights from Amsterdam make Bonaire very accessible from Europe.  There are numerous places to stay or to rent a car. We stayed in one of the holiday houses in Coco Palm Garden. The nice garden hosts many birds.


Black-bellied Whistling Duck.       Twelve birds in a pool close to the LVV site.

American Wigeon.                     4 birds in fresh water lake south of Lagoen Hill .

Blue-winged Teal.          Common with up to 100 birds at a fresh water Lake  south of Lagoen Hill. 

White-cheeked Pintail.   Two birds at Salina Slagbaai .

Brown Pelican.            Several birds coast Salinas.

American Flamingo.     About 1000 birds in total, predominately Salinas.

Magnificent Frigate bird.   Several birds coast (south)west coast.

Brown Booby.       One bird over sea south point Bonaire.

Green Heron.     In total about 8 birds mainly in mangroves, also at the LVV site.

Great Blue Heron.       About 10 birds along the various coasts.

Snowy Egret.            About 20 birds at various places but mainly in the wetlands in Kralendijk.

Great Egret.            About 10 birds spread over the island.

Reddish Egret.     In total about 15 birds ,several white morphs , mainly in the Salinas area.

Tricolored Heron.   In total about 15 birds ,mainly in the Salinas area.

Little Blue Heron.   About 10 birds along the coast.

Black-crowned Night Heron.  Two birds mangroves in the Salinas area.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron.   One bird roosting along the cliffs of Boka Slagbaai.

Pied-billed Grebe.     Two adults and two young birds  fresh water lake south of Lagoen Hill.

Osprey.                 Several birds at suitable places across the island.

Merlin.    One bird around Lac Bay.

Peregrine Falcon.   One bird west of Lac Bay.

Crested Caracara.    About 6 birds mainly in the national park.

Sora.     One or two birds at LVV site present over the entire period .

Common Gallinule.   About 8 birds at the LVV site.

Caribbean Coot.    About 40 birds fresh water lake south of Lagoen Hill and one bird at the LVV site.

Black-bellied Plover.   About 25 birds mainly in the Salinas area.

Semipalmated Plover.   About 50 birds mainly in the Salinas area.

Wilson’s plover.      One pair of race cinnamominus Salinas north of Lac Bay.

Black-necked Stilt.   About 300 birds ,mangroves Salinas and LVV site.

American Oystercatcher.  Two pairs along coast Salinas.

Greater Yellowlegs.        About 50 birds at suitable places distributed over the island.

Lesser Yellowlegs.       About 150 birds spread over the island but mainly in the Salinas area.

Solitary Sandpiper.      One bird at the  LVV site present over the entire period.

Willet.       One bird Lac Bay.

Whimbrel.      About 10 birds of race hudsonicus mainly in the Lac Bay area.

Ruddy Turnstone.    About 50 distributed over the island.

Red Knot.    Two birds in the Salinas.

Western sandpiper.   About 10 birds between the semipalmated sandpipers in the Salinas.

Semipalmated sandpiper.     About 400 birds in the Salinas.

Least sandpiper.          About 300 birds mainly in the Salinas but also across the island.

Sanderling.       About 30 birds in the Salinas.

Stilt Sandpiper.  One group of 20 birds fresh water lake south of Lagoen Hill.

Short-billed dowitcher.  About 40 birds Salina

Wilson’s Snipe.   One bird LVV site.

Royal Tern.       About 10 birds coast and Lac Bay.

Rock Pigeon.  About 5 birds national park. 

Eared Dove.  About 5 in national park.

Bare-eyed Pigeon.  About 50 across the island.

Scaly-naped Pigeon.   About 20 in national park.

Common Ground Dove.  About 200 across the island.

White-tipped Dove.   About 200 across the island.

Brown-throated Parakeet.  About 30 across the island.

Yellow-shouldered Parrot.  One of the special birds of Bonaire. Four birds in Belnem. Six birds in the national park.

Groove-billed Ani.  About 6 birds at various locations across the island.

White-tailed Nightjar.  In late dusk(starting around 7.30 pm) about 6 birds were seen in Rincon. The best place was the last part of the road towards grotto Lourdes. Here the birds could be seen sitting on the road in the headlights of the car.

Blue-tailed Emerald.  About  five birds adults and juveniles feeding on flowers in and close to the national park.

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird.  Also about five birds adult and juvenile feeding on flowers together with the Blue-tailed Emeralds.

Belted Kingfisher.    One bird at Lac Bay.

Caribbean Elaenia.    One Caribbean Elaenia was seen in the national park.

Northern Scrub-Flycatcher.     About 10 birds were seen in the national park.

Brown-crested Flycatcher.  About 20 birds seen across the island but predominately in the national park.

Grey Kingbird.  Common across the island in total about 20 birds seen.

Black-whiskered Vireo.  Drinking at the fresh water pools in the national park. In total about 10 birds seen.

Tropical Mockingbird.  Very common .

Yellow Warbler.  Common .

Northern Waterthrush.   One at put Bronswinkel ,two at the LVV site.

Bananaquit.  Common.

House sparrow.   Common.

Black-faced Grassquit.  About 20 across the island.

Saffron Finch. One bird 2km east of Kralendijk.

Carib Grackle.  About 10 across the island.

Shiny Cowbird.  Kralendijk 3 birds.

Venezuelan Troupiaal.   Common across the island.

Lined seedeater.  One male in the swamp at the LVV site on the sixth of February. According to the Helm Field GuideBirds of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire” the first observation of this south American species in the ABC islands. The bird was actively feeding on seeds and quite wary. It did not behave as an escapee .We saw the bird at two different locations 100m apart.

Below is a selection of pictures that we took from the birds that we observed.


Lined seedeater, male at the LVV site.


Reddish and green heron close to Lac Bay.


Black-bellied Whistling Duck in a small fresh water lake in the outskirts of Kralendijk.


    Short-billed dowitcher in the Salinas..

Yellow-shouldered parrot in the national park.


Northern waterthrush at put Bronswinkel in the national park.


Northern  Scrub-Flycatcher one of the several birds we observed in the national park.


Blue-tailed Emerald male at the border of the national park.


Yellow-crowned Night Heron at the cliffs at Boka Slagbaai.


The Sora that showed itself on many occasions at  the LVV site.


Semipalmated (front) and Alaska Sandpiper(back) Salinas.

Least sandpiper LVV site
Male Ruby-topaz Hummingbird close to the national park.

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