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.
On the grounds there were Bananaquits, at least one fairly tame Troupial, Eared Dove, Ground Dove, Grassquit, a resident White-cheeked Pintail, Carib Grackles, Mockingbird, House Sparrows. The best sighting was a Blue-tailed Emerald one afternoon. On the Hyatt beach we observed Great Egret, Frigatebirds, Pelicans, tern and gull species.
A trip to Bubali netted me fleeting glimpses of a Brown-throated Parakeet flock; very skittish and shy. Managed to capture one photo.
We also saw several Green Herons, a Moorhen, Yellow Warbler and others already mentioned. Best sighting here was Neotropic Cormorant close enough for photos. Across the water were several colonies of cormorants, plus Snowy and Great Egret. There may have been more species here, but with no scope couldn’t tell for sure.
On a jeep tour to Natural Bridge and other sites, had great looks at Laughing Gull. Also walked along a beach area with several (presumably) nesting Least Terns, as one or two were disturbed by my presence and flew over and around me quite close. The most spectacular bird of the day had to be the Bare-eyed Pigeon. Such a strange looking creature, but pretty in his own way.
At Ayo on a rainy day (between showers was the best lighting for photos the whole trip), I spotted a Burrowing Owl in a tree. Spent several minutes talking and whistling at him to get some decent photos. Even though they are fairly common where I live, it was one of the highlights because he was so darn cute!
There were absolutely no shorebirds or ducks anywhere we went, and my biggest disappointment was no Crested Caracara. Aruba is an interesting place, reminds me of our deserts in the western US. The people were friendly, the food was great and we had an enjoyable trip. Feel free to use my photos.
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