January 29-Feb 6, 2016
Craig Lanken




My wife and I just returned from our second trip to Aruba, and I wanted to share the list of birds we saw.  Although I am not an expert birder, I did study up for the trip and brought some home made bird guides (gleaned from information on the internet) and checklists.  Additionally, the purpose of the trip was not specifically for birding, it was simply a family vacation with friends and to get away from the cold and snow for a few days.  

The birds listed below were observed mostly through casual observation while enjoying the island in other ways, such as general sightseeing and day-to-day tourist activities in which I always had my binoculars with me.  The one exception is when I specifically went to Bubali park specifically for birding.


1/29/16 Troupial Tres Strapa
1/29/16 Brown Pelican Tres Strapa
1/29/16 Great Egret Near Bubali
1/30/16 Black-faced Grassquit Residential
1/30/16 Bananaquit Residential
1/30/16 Tropical Mockingbird Residential
1/30/16 Blue-tailed Emerald Residential
1/30/16 Royal Tern Eagle Beach
1/30/16 Brown-throated Parakeet Residential
1/30/16 Eared Dove Residential
1/30/16 Bare-eyed Pigeon Residential
1/30/16 Common Ground Dove Residential
1/31/16 Laughing Gull Catalina Cove
1/31/16 Caribbean Grackle Catalina Cove
2/1/16 Neotropic Cormorant Bubali
2/1/16 Magnificent Frigatebird Bubali
2/1/16 Green Heron Bubali
2/1/16 Common Moorhen Bubali
2/1/16 Caribbean Coot Bubali
2/1/16 Blue-winged Teal Bubali
2/1/16 Osprey Bubali
2/4/16 Greater Yellowlegs Near Bubali
2/4/16 Snowy Egret Near Bubali
2/4/16 Little Blue Heron Near Bubali
2/4/16 Whimbrel Near Bubali
2/4/16 Killdeer Near Bubali
2/4/16 Bank Swallow Casa del Mar Hotel
2/5/16 Semi-palmated Plover Baby Beach

When I use the term 'Residential' above, I am referring to birds observed in the neighborhood in which we stayed.  We were fortunate to be able to stay with a friend who lives near Xavier University and these birds were all seen in that area.  The birds see at Bubali, were primarily seen from the observation tower, and the ones 'Near Bubali' were seen in a wetland area close to Bubali, along Lloyd G Smith Blvd. This area turned out to be more productive and better viewing opportunity than the observation tower, due to the proximity of the birds and open area with much less vegetation.

One last note about the Brown-throated Parakeets.  The information I read listed them as uncommon and declining in numbers due to predation by non-native snakes, however, we were fortunate to see small groups of them just about every day.  They would fly over in groups of two to six in the residential area we were staying.  Twice they landed on the wires and in trees near the house, so observation with binoculars and confirmation was possible.  They were beautiful to see and enjoyable to hear, so let's hope they are holding their own, or better yet, improving their numbers.

Aruba is a wonderful island with great people and lots to see and so.  I really enjoyed the birding, snorkeling, Carnival and sunsets on the beach...thanks to everyone who made the trip possible and as enjoyable as it was.  Also thanks to the ArubaBirding website for providing checklists and lots of other helpful information!

Craig Lanken

Ravenna, Ohio