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Visitor Comments about Birding on Bonaire

If you have been birding on Bonaire, please tell us how you liked it!

  • How many species did you identify?
  • How many life birds did you find?
  • And if you found something truly rare, please tell us!

Just fill out the comment section below with any feedback from your birdwatching excursion on Bonaire.

26 Comments

  1. My wife, Ann, and I, together with our son, Andrew, took a 4-hour morning tour with Susan on 3 March, whilst on a Caribbean cruise. Susan met us at the port, before the ship’s tours left, and we were able to obtain excellent views of the Flamingos before the buses scared them off. Susan was very friendly, extremely knowledgeable and knew exactly where to look for the birds. The 4 hours passed by so quickly – we could certainly have done with longer on the island.

    We identified 34 species of bird during our tour, of which 13 were personal ‘Lifers’. The highlights, apart from the Flamingos and parking at the local prison, were a Belted Kingfisher and a Northern Waterthrush.

    We would highly recommend Susan if you are considering a bird-watching tour on Bonaire.

    Reply
    • Hi John, you are so right that the time just flew! I’m glad that all three of you enjoyed your visit to Bonaire, as well as the bird tour. We did manage to see a lot in just a few short hours, and I’m very happy to hear that we found 13 new lifers for you. That is wonderful! Thank you again.

      Reply
  2. My wife Nancy and I, from New Jersey, and our daughter Sarah from Washington,DC, took the four hour tours with Susan Davis on January 9 and January 16, 2020. We are all experienced birders and have traveled with many guides in many countries and can highly recommend Susan. She runs a very well organized and equipped operation providing drinks, snacks, guidebooks, a scope, and binoculars if you need them; most of which we usually have to provide for ourselves. It is also a great convenience to be picked up and dropped off at the place where one is staying which helps you make best use of your time (if you have a choice you need the full four hours to see everything). I’m not the lister but we saw many species, and large numbers of some, and spent a lot of time observing the flamingos. Also while driving around we saw historical sites, different habitats, the unique salt ponds and other features of the landscape. Our trips with Susan were a highlight of our two week stay on Bonaire. We would also recommend taking the custom early morning tour at the Echo Foundation parrot sanctuary at Dos Pos at the north end of the island to see the yellow shouldered parrots, parakeets, and their reforestation projects. Finally if you want to photograph birds Susan is the one to contact.

    Reply
    • Hi Robert, thank you for your kind comments! I am glad you, Nancy, and Sarah enjoyed the two tours, I certainly enjoyed having all three of you as company on tour. I’ve also let the folks at Echo know that you found their private tour interesting and helpful, they do such good work for our parrots. I hope we get to see you back on Bonaire again in the future, but in the meantime, happy birding!

      Reply
  3. I visited Bonaire in August 2019 and spent two afternoons birding with Susan Davis, as a break from the great diving. And what great afternoons they were! Susan is friendly and knowledgeable, and we had a great time. The uncommon striated heron was a highlight, but so was watching the baby white-cheeked pintails. I highly recommend Susan’s Bonaire BIrd Photography Tours for birders and photographers.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Tracy, we did have fun. And not only were those White-cheeked Pintails cute, recently we also had baby Black-Bellied Whistling Ducklings, which were just as adorable! I hope to see you back on Bonaire one of these days, and we shall explore other areas. In the meantime, happy birding!

      Reply
  4. Our three-hour evening bird tour with Susan was a highlight of our recent trip to Bonaire. Actually, I think the term “bird tour” is too restrictive. Susan spoke knowledgeably about not just the many birds we encountered but the history, culture and unique features of Bonaire. I found some of the sites we visited so interesting that I returned the next morning at sunrise to get some more photos. Plus, Susan pulled over in time for us to watch the sunset and I got to see the Green Flash, which I’ve often heard about, but always been skeptical of. No more skepticism! Thanks Susan for being such a wonderful guide!

    Reply
    • Hi Larry, thank you for your nice words! I’m so glad I could make a believer out of you in regard to the Green Flash! We did have a great tour, and what a way to end it! Your images from Bonaire, as well as all the images in your portfolio, are excellent, and it was a privilege for me to show you some of the places to photograph while you were here on Bonaire. Perhaps one day you will be back on Bonaire, and we can explore other areas!

      Reply
  5. We had a wonderful time on our birding photography tour with Susan in January 2020 on Bonaire. My wife and I were, of course, there to see Flamingos, and Susan was able to get us some fantastic, close-up looks of Flamingos before the cruise ship tours arrived and drove them further away from the water’s edge.

    We also ventured to other areas of the island to see lots of other species and Susan did a wonderful job finding the birds despite our schedule only allowing us to bird in the late morning to early afternoon hours. She even took us to her own personal garden to watch the hummingbirds! She was very patient allowing us to control the pace of the tour as well. If we had a cooperative subject, Susan was happy to let us work with it for as long as we wanted. I can’t recommend a photography tour with Susan enough if you’re coming to Bonaire for the birds!

    We identified 33 birds during our midday tour with her, 6 of which were new life list birds for us. There would have been much more lifers for us in Bonaire had we not spent the previous day birding in Aruba as well. We even saw a banded Ruddy Turnstone and got to report its sighting.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Ken! Such nice words. We did indeed have a good day, and your pictures are stunning. I hope to see both of you back on Bonaire again in the future, but this time for a longer visit!

      Reply
  6. Like so many who come to Bonaire, I was part of a dive group vacationing and diving for a week in September of this year. As a mid-week break from diving, I talked my girl-friend Joyce (another diver; my husband said no way) into doing a 3 hour bird watching tour. My knowledge of birds…small, medium, large. Susan was the perfect guide. She took us to different parts of Bonaire that we would have never seen. We counted about 30 species on our tour and enjoyed getting to know someone who clearly loves and appreciates Bonaire. Novice or advanced, I would highly recommend Susan for your next bird watching tour. Thank you Susan for a memorable 9/11/2019.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Lan! We did have fun, didn’t we? I don’t think I will ever forget when Mother Nature decided we needed an education in creatures other than birds!

      I am really glad you and Joyce enjoyed your first birdwatching session, and thanks for sending the images, they are really good! I will look forward to your next Bonaire visit, and you, Joyce, and I can have another great tour (as well as see what Mother Nature has in store for us next time!).

      Reply
  7. I visited Bonaire mid-September 2019 and scheduled a 3-hr bird photography tour with Susan Davis. Susan picked my mother & I up at the house we were staying at, provided greatly appreciated water, snacks, and binoculars, which she taught us how to use. She can definitely be considered an expert on the birds of Bonaire. I am a newer & relaxed birder, so I just wanted to go do something I loved in a place new to me. Susan knew where the birds were and had many suggestions, such as would I prefer to see shorebirds, parrots, flamingos, warblers, etc.

    I saw so many new to me species, but even the ones I did know I was able to learn more about. We counted (with her help) 43 species. Some of the highlights for me included white-cheeked pintails, common gallinule, southern lapwing and Groove-billed ani. And, though I may not understand the rarity of the sighting, she also led us to see a striated heron. She knew where it had been hanging out and luckily we were still able to see it.

    My mom and I had a lot of fun on the tour. Susan was very knowledgeable of her birds, told us many fun facts about them, and was a very kind host for the evening. We would be happy to go on a tour with her again and would definitely recommend her!

    Reply
    • Hi Lindsay, it’s so nice to hear you and your Mom enjoyed the tour! We did see a lot that day! Thank you for your nice comments. I hope you both enjoyed the rest of your vacation on Bonaire, and perhaps we shall see you again in the future! If so, we’ll explore Bonaire’s birds in other areas! All the best! Susan

      Reply
  8. I visited Bonaire on a cruise ship and wanted to go birding while I was there! I was very happy to make a reservation with Susan to be my guide! I love taking photos of birds and she understood perfectly about finding birds that weren’t just “specks” in my viewfinder, and to photograph them in “good” light! So I got many great photos. We found 37+ species, with some lifers for me! I had a great time. When in Bonaire, book with Susan, you will have a great trip!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Suzanne, we did have fun! And your images are superb! Even I got a lifer with the rare American Golden Plover, and thanks to your image of it, we could get it confirmed. I hope to see you next time you visit Bonaire! All the best!

      Reply
  9. The four of us had a wonderful outing with Susan on July 31. There was a total of 29 species identified which was amazing considering we were only out for 3 hours. My favorite was the striated heron feeding in the ditch near the salt ponds. Of course there were many others that we were seeing for the first time and were amazing. Highly recommend others enjoy this activity and Susan’s photographs of the outing were professional quality. Thanks so much, Susan!

    Reply
    • HI Warren, thank you for the nice comments, and I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the tour and the images! Yes, the rare Striated Heron was definitely the icing on the cake! I hope to see you the next time you and your family are back on Bonaire!

      Reply
  10. My husband and I went on a birding tour with Susan Davis. She gave us a choice of areas and which species of birds we might see. We chose south of the island and flamingos and parrots. She was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable and graciously shared her expertise of spotting and photography with us. She extended the tour by a bit as we had spotted some active parrots about to roost. Probably the best thing was that she showed us how to get back to places where the birds could be easily seen. We will absolutely go again on our next visit to Bonaire! Thank you, Susan!

    Reply
    • Thank you, Sandy, and I enjoyed our tour as well! So happy you and Bob got such phenomenal images! I will look forward to seeing you both back again next year.

      Reply
  11. When you go to Bonaire do NOT forget the birds. There are many beautiful colored species. In April 2019 we went on a birding trip with Susan Davis. She is a very enthusiastic birding guide. That makes the trip already worth it. She looks for birds at places we would never expect to look ourselves. We saw 33 species with her. And with her advice, we saw 17 species ourselves. Bonaire is a paradise for birders

    Reply
  12. I went birding with Susan Davis this week. She showed me locations that I would not have thought of myself. The fact that she is an experienced photographer herself added to the value of the trip. On my request we focused on a limited number of species. Her expertise helped me to focus on photography. We had a very satisfactory birding trip resulting in marvelous photo’s to bring home.

    Reply
  13. Our group; CAREFREE BIRDING, came off the Celebrity Reflection to bird Bonaire. We were greeted by Elsmarie Beukenboom and Susan Davis. They took us around Bonaire for a great Birding experience. Not only the knowledge of Elsmarie and Susan about the birds, but the information they gave us on the history of Bonaire was greatly appreciated. Thank you Susan and Elsmarie; we will be back with another group in 2019! Ken & Linda

    Reply
  14. My husband and I also went birdwatching with Elsmarie.
    She is a very nice lady with knowledge about the birds, the best spots, the people and the island.

    We did a 4- hour tour at the north of the island ( except the NP) and saw many birds (around 30 species). Elsmarie was able to addapt her knowledge on our level of birdwatching, we are beginners.

    It is not a cheap excursion but worthwhile. One of our highlights of our holiday. If you plan it in the beginning of your holiday, you can benifit from it during the rest of your stay.

    Reply
  15. If your serious about birding on Bonaire, a local birding guide is a must. Elsmarie Beukenboom is just that person. She is not only an expert birder, but her knowledge of animal life, plant life, history and culture made our time together tremendously rewarding. Two weeks ago (Sept. 2017), I birded two mornings with Elsmarie. In our time together she showed me most of the best birding sites on the Island and we checked off most of my target birds. After our outings she showed me other places on the map I could go on my own to perhaps find birds we missed. In my two weeks in Bonaire, I saw 70 species of birds in which 11 were life birds. I could not have done that without Elsmarie! I highly recommend her to anyone wanting to maximize their birding time on Bonaire!

    Reply
    • I had two great days of Birding with Elsmarie Beukenboom. We saw 41 species, of which 11 were new to me. She showed me birding hotspots, got access to places I could have visited, and was knowledgeable and informative. Even better, she was hugely informed about Bonaire’s history and natural environment. My daughter and I learned so much as she drove us around the island. I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about how helpful she was. Perhaps best of all, I visited some stops on our tour by myself the next day and picked up two more life birds!

      Reply

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