Bonaire Birding Events for February.
This month there are a number of great birding events on Bonaire. If you’ve never considered birdwatching while visiting Bonaire, this month’s events might just convince you to try it out.
The Great Backyard Bird Count February 17-20.
Birding locations from around the world from the Great Backyard Bird Count 2016. Image copyright GBBC, used with permission.
Each year in February, birders, along with those who want to give it a try, join in together from locations around the world to spend some time in their backyards, a resort’s garden, or really anywhere, to see just how many birds they can count and identify. This year’s census will run from February 17th through 20th and will create a real-time snapshot of where birds are.
Visitors to Bonaire, and residents alike, are all invited to join in, as Bonaire enjoys an enviable amount of bird species, especially during the winter, when migratory species can be found as well.
Tallying your birds is easy with eBird.
Tallying your birds is very easy with eBird, an application by Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology. Here’s all you have to do:
1. Register for the count or use your existing login name and password. If you have never participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count or any other Cornell Lab citizen-science project, you’ll need to create a new account. If you already created an account for last year’s GBBC, or if you’re already registered with eBird or another Cornell Lab citizen-science project, you can use your existing login information.
2. Count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the GBBC. You can count for longer than that if you wish! Count birds in as many places and on as many days as you like—one day, two days, or all four days. Submit a separate checklist for each new day, for each new location, or for the same location if you counted at a different time of day. Estimate the number of individuals of each species you saw during your count period.
3. Enter your results on the GBBC website by clicking “Submit Observations” on the home page. Or download the free eBird Mobile app to enter data on a mobile device. If you already participate in the eBird citizen-science project, please use eBird to submit your sightings during the GBBC. Your checklists will count toward the GBBC.
There’s even a photo contest for the photographers visiting Bonaire. Lots of tools and additional information for identifying birds can be found at the GBBC website.
Blue-tailed Emerald Hummingbird, commonly seen in backyards on Bonaire.
Get a starter course with STINAPA biologist, Caren Eckrich.
To make it even easier to participate, join STINAPA biologist, Caren Eckrich, for a short presentation on how to participate in the count. This lecture will also help you improve your backyard birding skills. Caren is an engaging speaker, and you won’t even realize how much you are learning, just because you will be having so much fun! Join Caren at CIEE headquarters at Kaya Gobernator N. Debrot #26 on February 14th, 2017 at 7:00 PM.
Count on your own, or count with STINAPA.
If you are not too sure of your birding skills, but would still like to participate, join STINAPA on February 17th in a Backyard Bird Count event at The Cadushi Distillery in Rincon. Everyone is welcome to participate in this try-out garden bird count from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Participants will help count the birds, can ask questions about Bonaire’s birds, and even photograph them (remember the photo contest!). Yellow orioles, a variety of doves, vireo, and bananaquits are commonly seen at this location in Rincon. Everyone is welcome and it’s free of charge.
Birdwatching Event with STINAPA on February 18.
Groove-billed Ani, seen at LVV.
If you find yourself smitten with Bonaire’s feathered friends, there will be a second event sponsored by STINAPA on Saturday, February 18th, at LVV to learn more about Bonaire’s birds. LVV has a fresh water pond that is great for bird watching. This is the best site for watching a variety of birds, both resident and migratory. Some very rare species have been seen on these birding trips, and the rare Greater Ani, the Smooth-billed Ani from South America, and the Grooved-billed Ani have been recently seen and are breeding in this location.
Bring your binoculars and good shoes. If you don’t have binoculars, STINAPA has some that you may use. The event will take place from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM. This activity is free of charge, but donations are always appreciated. Space is limited so please reserve your spot by telephoning STINAPA at 717-8444. LVV is located on Kaminda Lagun next to the wastewater treatment facility.
(Source: STINAPA, eBird, GBBC Website, CIEE)