Select Page

Banded birds migrate south for the winter, and visitors can encounter them during migration season.

Over 4 billion birds in North America have taken to the skies, or will shortly, for their annual migrations to warmer weather.  Bonaire is an important over-wintering location for many of these birds or a resting stop on an even longer journey southward. Those human visitors who keep their eyes open can easily find many of these migrant species, even while lounging on the beach in front of their oceanfront resort.

Finding banded birds.

Just as Bonaire’s sea turtle researchers like to track Bonaire-born turtles, bird researchers in North America also find that learning more about the migration habits of their summer-residing birds can add to their knowledge base and assist with more protective measures, something that is important for many animal species around the world as the world becomes more and more developed.

Unlike Bonaire’s turtle researchers, they cannot attach a satellite transmitter, as these migrating birds have exceptionally long ways to fly.  Instead, the way to track these birds is to band them when they are very young, and then hope that citizen scientists will help with logging sightings over the years.

 

Many banded birds can be found while lounging at oceanfront hotels and resorts on Bonaire.
Royal terns visiting Bonaire can be found with bands.

Bonaire visitor, Dave Duncan, answers that call.

Dave Duncan is a frequent Bonaire visitor, heeding the same call as our migrant birds to return to Bonaire each winter.  While here, he has seen birds with leg bands, and he began to photograph them to try to learn more about the individual bird’s history. Over the years, and with the help of his trusty Canon SDX50, he has managed to document a variety of birds, and has even seen the same bird returning year after year!

During his two-week visit this past March, Dave reported that he found a Ruddy Turnstone hanging out at Lac Bay which was banded.  He also sighted three or four banded Royal Terns hanging out on a concrete slab in front of the Plaza Beach Resort, and an additional one also at Lac Bay.  He tells us,

“It takes some real effort to be able to read ALL the numbers of the small metal bands on the terns, but it can be a fun challenge.  Three years ago, I was able to read all the numbers on two different migrants, and when checking out their history, one was over 20 years old!”

— Dave Duncan

What sort of history can be found about a banded bird’s life?

When a bird is initially banded, it goes into the database.  Many times the bird is banded before it is even able to fly, thus offering a literal snapshot of its travels over the years–if only those who see the tag report it dutifully.  One of Dave’s Bonaire bird sightings in recent years was a Ruddy Turnstone with green flag HV8.  This bird was reported as being seen on Bonaire by Dave and also others.  Here’s HV8’s history:

Captures:
5/30/2009 11:17:00 AM – Cooks Beach – north, New Jersey, United States – 1332-15552 FELGHV8 RUTU
5/16/2013 11:10:00 AM – Pierces Point Beach, New Jersey, United States – 1332-15552 FELG9JH RUTU
5/21/2014 12:25:00 PM – Kimbles Beach – south, New Jersey, United States – 1332-15552 FELG9JH RUTU
Resightings:
2/21/2010 – Kralendijk – vicinity of pier, N/A, Bonaire – 1332-15552 FELGHV8 RUTU
5/21/2013 – Reeds Beach – south, New Jersey, United States – 1332-15552 FELG9JH RUTU
10/29/2013 – Bonaire southwest beaches, N/A, Bonaire – 1332-15552 FELG9JH RUTU
2/17/2015 – Kralendijk – vicinity of pier, N/A, Bonaire – 1332-15552 FELG9JH RUTU
10/10/2015 – Kralendijk – vicinity of pier, N/A, Bonaire – 1332-15552 FELG9JH RUTU
5/9/2016 – Reeds Beach – south, New Jersey, United States – 1332-15552 FELG9JH RUTU
5/10/2016 – Reeds Beach – south, New Jersey, United States – 1332-15552 FELG9JH RUTU
5/12/2016 – Reeds Beach – north, New Jersey, United States – 1332-15552 FELG9JH RUTU
5/13/2016 – Reeds Beach – north, New Jersey, United States – 1332-15552 FELG9JH RUTU
5/17/2016 – Reeds Beach – north, New Jersey, United States – 1332-15552 FELG9JH RUTU
5/18/2016 – Kimbles Beach – south, New Jersey, United States – 1332-15552 FELG9JH RUTU

Ruddy Turnstones are very gregarious little shorebirds, and if one stays quiet, they may approach quite closely.  Have your camera ready to try to get an image of the band the bird wears.

Reporting your sighting of a banded bird on Bonaire.

But learning about the history of the bird’s life isn’t enough.  When finding a banded bird, one must take the next step and report it in the location where it was seen.  To report a banded bird you have seen on Bonaire, simply visit the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory.  The online form is available in English, Spanish, or French.  Your good deed does not go unnoticed.  Once reported, you can request a certificate of appreciation such as the one Dave received for his 20-year-old tern sighting.

 

 

An example of the certificate of appreciation for reporting a banded bird.

What is the best time of year for sighting banded birds on Bonaire?

From August through October migrant species will be traveling south.  From February through April, these same birds will be heading north once again.  These are prime times to view birds which make a stop on Bonaire for a little rest and relaxation before continuing their journeys.

However, many species will spend the winter on Bonaire much like the human snowbirds who want to leave winter behind, and thus from August through April, there are good opportunities for sighting migrant birds.  Simply keep your eyes open whenever you are on the shore.

Global Big Day is this Saturday, October 6, 2018.

And there is no better time to begin your quest to find a banded bird than this Saturday during the fall Global Big Day.  Every year for the last four years Global Big Day has set new heights for a single day of birding. This massive international collaborative birding event has been so great, plans are now in place for another worldwide eBird Big Day on Saturday. If you are on Bonaire, get out and bird on Global Big Day and help put Bonaire on the world birding map!

(Source:  Dave Duncan)


Subscribe to the free Bonaire Insider newsletter:


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 


 

Select Your Language

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

The Latest News From The Bonaire Insider

InfoBonaire is supported by advertising.
Thank you for supporting our advertisers!

Restaurant Reviews on BonReviews:

5/5

Fine dining at Sebastian’s Restaurant!  I had two wonderful dinners recently at Sebastian’s, one out on their private pier.  In my opinion Sebastian’s is the place to go whenever visiting Bonaire.  The ambiance is lovely, the service impeccable and the food outstanding.  It is in my opinion, the best place to dine on the island […]

Read More
5/5

Service & Food  at Breeze ‘n Bites–OUTSTANDING We always make a point of eating here at least once during our trips.  Service is always friendly and the food is always tasty.

Read More
5/5

Gio’s is an amazing place!  We go here every day we are on the island. We so love the Gelato and desserts! I think we both gained 20# in one week but well worth it! Amazingly tasty gelato! Thank You!

Read More
4/5

Mezze is a great new spot!  They installed a makeshift wheelchair ramp so a bunch of us decided to try this new addition to the island’s many awesome restaurants. Loved the excellent lamb shank served with delicious vegetables. Started with the eggplant and fresh pita. Decent prices too. We’re heading back soon.

Read More
5/5

Best tuna ever at Sebastian’s Restaurant! We visited Bonaire 06/16 & I have to say that our visit To Sebastian’s was one of the highlights. The tuna was some of the best I’ve ever had & was done to its rare perfection. Cut with a fork & melt in your mouth!!!! Of course, washed down […]

Read More
5/5

Capriccio Ristorante is wonderful!  This was a nice surprise! We were greeted with a welcome drink and a wonderful basket of bread and fresh pita chips. We had scallops and pasta which was wonderful and bolognese was nothing to brag about. Staff was pleasant and welcoming. Reservations (highly recommended) were for 6pm for party of […]

Read More
4/5

My wife and I had a wonderful meal at Ingridients, but I have to say that the waiting staff did pressure us to select items we did not want.  Don’t hesitate to eat here because the food is excellent…just be prepared to say no to serving suggestions.

Read More
4/5

Don’t miss Mezze while on Bonaire! We visited Mezze with friends and had a delicious meal. “Mezze” like “tapas” means “small plates” and all of the apps were outstanding: hummus, falafel, tabouleh, and baba ghanous, which we lapped up with homemade pita, forks and fingers. The concept of “small” evaporated when the entrees were served, especially […]

Read More
3/5

Great food at Sebastian’s Restaurant, but exceptionally slow. After waiting 30 minutes for our snickers ice cream dessert they told us they were out of peanuts and have sent someone to buy some and would be at least 10 more minutes. we said forget the dessert and bring us the check. it still took 30 […]

Read More
5/5

Fantastic fresh fish at Chibi Chibi.  We have now eaten the fresh fish special (mahi) twice on two separate trips (November and January).  The service is impeccable, the restaurant and bathrooms are very clean, and the food is amazing.  I struggle to understand why this restaurant doesn’t have better reviews on Trip Advisor.  It truly […]

Read More
5/5

Excellent daily specials and “to die for” ribs at Joe’s Grillhouse!  Excellent casual place. Jessica and Bart, along with the staff, make you feel welcome and comfortable. We always visit Joe’s at least twice during our yearly dive trip to Bonaire. The daily catch special is always excellent while the ribs are “fall off the bone” […]

Read More
5/5

Delightful evening at Bon Aroma! Be sure to include Bon Aroma on your list of fine dining experiences. The ambiance is lovely, the service impeccable and the cuisine delicious. The marlin and lionfish duo with its sides was outstanding. Dessert was a delight – apple tart with vanilla ice cream and a mixed berry cobbler […]

Read More
5/5

Pizza, pizza at Rum Runners!  My second dinner upon arrival on Bonaire is going to Rum Runners and seeing my good friend TT and ordering two spicy shrimp pizzas and taking them home. Best pizza on the island. Well eating healthy I also order their Caesars Salad no anchovies with the pizzas. Note-TT is the […]

Read More
5/5

Fast and delicious.  Nice ambience, good service, delicious food at Cuba Compagnie.

Read More
5/5

La Cantina is absolutely the best!   Great ambience! Great service and the food was absolutely stunning!!  Chef Cook Rick and his wife Kim did it again! They created a new food experience!  You can order a la carte or take a surprise dinner and watch how your food is being prepared.  You should definitely […]

Read More
5/5

Good taste at Bon Aroma! The elegance of this small beautifully-appointed space provides privacy between the five tables and quiet from the street while breezes flow through the open walls encouraging relaxation and conversation. My meal of braised marlin and lionfish with mango and basil sauce, a medley of fine vegetables and Italian rice, finished […]

Read More
4/5

At Sea Restaurant Accommodating to Vegans and Gluten Free Folks.  First off they have my favorite…Hendricks gin, but a steady supply of fever tree tonics is a must to enjoy its smooth flavours. An enthusiastic bartender willing to earn your praises is a great start to an enjoyable evening. I asked the waitress if chef […]

Read More
4/5

Latin Vibe at Cuba Compagnie!  I was invited to dinner by friends. Previously, I had been to Cuba for cocktails but dinner was a new experience. We sat outside surrounded by a lively and bustling vibe. The wait staff are very friendly and helpful. They are very busy so it takes patience and some effort […]

Read More
5/5

Great local flavor of the island at Mi Banana. We were directed to Mi Banana to a great surprise. Friendly and personable staff and food was great. Chicken and fish dishes were our favorites up until the dessert. The three leche cake was to die for. Don’t miss the dessert.

Read More
5/5

A great experience at BonAroma! Excellent food and presentation, reasonable prices, great service and wonderful people.  Best dining we have had on Bonaire!

Read More
5/5

At Sea serves works of art!  We dined at At Sea twice while we were recently in Bonaire. Both times we chose the Surprise Menu, and all of the dishes were beautifully prepared and delicious. The dishes were true works of art, decorated with beautiful garnishes and great imagination. Dessert one night was an underwater […]

Read More
5/5

My new sushi place…Osaka Japanese Fusion Restaurant. A friend recommended this restaurant for dinner and I had a great experience. I simply love this restaurant! Friendly staff, and amazing sushi! The fish is fresh and everything is very well made. I love the Volcano and Kamikaze roll!! Next time I’m in Bonaire, that’s the place […]

Read More
5/5

Bon Aroma is fantastic in every way! Incredible food (in top 3 on island); impeccable and warm service, intimate ambiance – BonAroma has it all. We had asparagus soup with shrimp, tuna carpaccio, lion fish and tuna duo, all perfectly prepared and presented. Well balanced menu, vegetarians will be very happy. Good wine list. Delicious and […]

Read More
5/5

Great breakfast and lunch at Between Two Buns! Nice salads and sandwiches. Don’t forget to try the home made pies!

Read More
4/5

Al fresco dining at Cuba Compagnie. We loved dining at Cuba. The outdoor setting is casual and comfortable. It’s a lively vibe. Service is efficient and friendly. I typically order the fresh fish. I have also enjoyed the ceviche.  Cuba is a fun spot for a group of friends.

Read More
5/5

Best pizza at Pasa Bon Pizza! Best pizza on Bonaire.  We look forward to getting that crisp crust and hot cheesy pizza served at Pasa Bon pizza every time we go to Bonaire. Try their Lion Fish pizza….it is good !!

Read More
5/5

Jasmine Garden is a typical Chinese restaurant, where we had a delicious dinner. We ordered the Yeung chow fried rice and the Kung pao chicken, which were served by friendly staff. During our 2 week’s holiday in Bonaire, we went there 4 times to eat. Every time we were satisfied.

Read More
5/5

Best Lunch Spot!  I am a tuna sandwich aficionado. I have sampled tuna sandwiches across Bonaire. Between Two Buns serves the best by far. I love their multi-grain bread with seeds and goodness. The salad itself is chock full of flavor. They put salty briny capers in their salad adding an extra flavor blast.  Wow, […]

Read More
4/5

Good food, friendly service, reasonable prices at Diver’s Diner Bar & Grill.  Place looks very unpretentious, but the staff is very willing to please. The food is very good and very reasonably priced.

Read More
5/5

Pasa Bon Pizza, Not your usual pizza place Third trip to Bonaire and this is our go-to place for dinner at least two nights each trip. Cozy outdoor place. Wait staff very pleasant. Lion fish pizza is awesome. Frozen Lime and Guava dessert is yummy and refreshing. Open Wednesday through Sunday (I think). I am […]

Read More
5/5

Good food at Between Two Buns.  As an owner at Sanddollar, this is one great restaurant for breakfast and lunch. Very friendly owner and staff. I think that I order the same thing every time, great looking desserts and salads.

Read More
4/5

Good food and good friends at Diver’s Diner Bar & Grill!  We have been return customers every time we come to Bonaire. This is trip number 7. Try the walking sticks for sure and the dipping sauce. I could go on and on. Try it out you won’t be sorry.

Read More
4/5

Love lunch at Zen’s Bar Café!  I am always impressed with the Lunch specials. They are as appealing to the eye as to the stomach and my pocketbook.

Read More
5/5

Between Two Buns, Love this place! When we two Canadians visit Bonaire, we plan on almost daily visits to “Between Two Buns.” The sandwiches and salads are terrific and the staff very friendly! Sure fills the bill after a morning of snorkeling!

Read More
5/5

Great lunches at Donna & Georgio’s.  It’s like stepping off Bonaire’s streets and into Italy. Wonderful food and great atmosphere plus air conditioning. Daily specials and mouth watering pizzas await you…..

Read More
4/5

Nothing is better than Seared Tuna at the Beach!  The Kite City food truck at te’ Amo beach near the airport is not to be missed. Fresh fish prepared just right in oh-so-many ways is one of the expected pleasures of coming to the Caribbean, and Kite City does not disappoint.  The beach dining is […]

Read More
3/5

So-so at Between Two Buns. If you never had a sandwich before I suppose you might think it was good. Sandwiches are not served on buns but rather on a sliced baguette about 8″ or so. A piece of meat or cheese is placed in between and voila! Sandwich. No lettuce, tomato, mustard or aioli, […]

Read More
5/5

Food is excellent @ Donna & Georgio’s, Donna always made me feel special. Great food and always a take out service.  As an owner at Sanddollar and full kitchen facilities makes their take out food a very good place to eat in or take out. Every trip to BONAIRE requires multi stops at this restaurant. For pizza […]

Read More
5/5

Tipsy Seagull – Best dinner ever! We decided to have dinner Friday night at the Tipsy Seagull at the Plaza Hotel and we couldn’t have enjoyed it more! The 3 course meal was fantastic and the music was so awesome.  The servers were so friendly and attentive and the food was wonderful. We will definitely […]

Read More
5/5

Bistro de Paris is accommodating for vegans and vegetarians.  We love going to Bistro because we know we can eat a fabulous meal for our vegan needs. Mary makes a mean veggie salad large enough for a meal. The rice bowls, carrot bourgenon is soo tasty, the potato terrine is to die for, so rich […]

Read More
5/5

I have been coming to Bonaire for over 20 years. Without a doubt, Donna & Giorgio’s is our favorite place to dine. A husband & wife team, Donna is the hostess with the most-est and Giorgio is the fantastico Italian chef. Our favorite thing for dinner is to tell Giorgio to make us whatever he […]

Read More
5/5

Gourmet burgers at King Kong Mobile Food Truck! Very convenient at bachelor’s beach. Great burger! Next time I will go for the Junk Yard Dog.

Read More
5/5

Not a Typical Pizza! I’m a pepperoni and sausage pizza guy so I was skeptical when I saw pizza topped with shrimp on the menu.  I tried it, I loved it, and I’ll go back to Blue Garden Brazilian Grill & Pizza Gourmet for more the next time we are on the island.  They offer […]

Read More
5/5

Best food on Bonaire at Donna & Giorgio’s! We had 2 dinners and one lunch during our week in Bonaire. We loved the food, Donna, and her daughter. Everything we had was great! Be sure and call for a reservation.

Read More
5/5

Hot Spot King Kong!   Bachelor Beach is er een stuk leuker en lekkerder op geworden. King Kong levert uitstekende kwaliteit. Verrassende smaken!

Read More
5/5

Sebastian’s Restaurant is an Epicureans Delight!  You have to try this seaside gourmet restaurant. The chef is known for combining foods and spices you will not taste elsewhere.

Read More
5/5

Eddy’s Restaurant–Again, as an owner at Sanddollar you could not find a better place to eat. Friendly casual great food with a different variety. Family owned and run and will cook to your pleasure. Eddy is the cook, Sonia runs the front along with their children–another Sonia and Eddy!

Read More
5/5

Awesome burgers and fries at King Kong Burgers & Hotdogs!  I would eat these burgers 7 days a week if I could, but my wetsuit would not fit after awhile. They are wonderful and the area the truck is at couldn’t be better. Great job to the owner. Will be back next visit to the […]

Read More
5/5

Sebastian’s Restaurant By the Beautiful Sea! You know the saying about saving the best for last?  Lorrie and I save Sebastian’s Restaurant for the end of our trip because we love the food selections, service, scenery, Sebastian and the friends that join us for our farewell dinner.  The restaurant offers a local menu with several nightly […]

Read More
4/5

Best Fries On Bonaire! I have been enjoying Bobbejan‘s weekend BBQ since 2001. Maggie and Robert run a tasty restaurant. My daughter loves the rib dinner. I enjoy the fish when it’s fresh. Their side cole slaw is garlicky and tasty. The reason I go so often is their french fries. They are the best […]

Read More
5/5

Eddy’s is Excellent!  We love going to Eddy’s. The service is always great and the food is fresh and outstanding!

Read More
5/5

King Kong Burger Food Truck. Find it on Bachelors Beach. Tuesday through Sat…I think. We have returned to these freshly made, gourmet burgers several times. The meat is fresh and tasty. Prepared when ordered and seasoned to perfection. Several special recipes to choose from. Our favorite is the French connection….so unique and tasty, paired with mosquito […]

Read More
5/5

Sebastian’s Restaurant is the best all around!  I’ve eaten at Sebastian’s maybe five times in the last three years and it’s always been a unique experience. From the greetings that make you feel welcome to the creative menu and exceptional food to the natural ambiance of water and sky–there’s nothing to match it on Bonaire.

Read More
5/5

Bobbejan’s is our first dinner upon arrival!  Upon arriving on Bonaire after food shopping my first dinner is always at Bobbejans. They have the best chicken Sate and ribs. Known as the best take out restaurant and they developed an outdoor dining area. Only opened Friday’s, Sat and Sunday’s but well worth the wait and […]

Read More
5/5

Goat stew at Eddy’s Restaurant was the best meal on the island, so tender. The barracuda was excellent and the mojitos were special.

Read More
5/5

Best experience on Bonaire at King Kong Burgers & Hotdogs! Quality burgers! I was one of their first customers and now almost 2 years later they are still the best on Bonaire!

Read More
2/5

Pizza needs work at Blue Garden Brazilian Grill & Pizza Gourmet. The mojitos are great Service started off OK, then once I got my food, I never saw the server again, so never got any more water. The pizza needs work. The crust is about 2mm thick & is heavy & still not totally cooked. […]

Read More
3/5

Cuba Compagnie Going Downhill We have been here a few times before. I went there tonight with my son and the service was unresponsive and when I said something I got a rude smart mouth response from management. The food is generally good. But don’t order the sodas. You get a small glass full of […]

Read More

Archives

Categories

error: Sorry, content is protected under copyright.
Share
Tweet
+1
Share
Pin