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Pearly-eyed Thrasher Margarops fuscatus ©Dick Daniels Website

Birding Curaçao

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.



GNU Free Documentation License


Number of Species

Number of bird species: 217

As at July 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 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 |

ISBN: #187100

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Birds of the West Indies

By Herbert Raffaele, James Wiley, Orlando Garrido, Allan Keith & Janis Raffaele | Christopher Helm | 2003 Paperback | 216 pages, 92 colour plates, 181 colour distribution maps |

ISBN: 0713654198

Buy this book from NHBS.com


Bird Watching Curaçao


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


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…


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2006 [01 January] - John van der Woude


Photos and site locales

2006 [08 August] - Sander Pieterse


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


Welcome to this site which focuses completely on the nature found on the island of Curaçao. This island lies 150 kilometres north of Venezuela in the southern (Dutch) Caribbean…