Bonaire is home to a wide range of birds. From fish gulping pelicans to laughing sea gulls, these vibrant island residents brighten up the island.

Caribbean Flamingo

Arguable the most iconic species for Bonaire, the Caribbean flamingo can be spotted across the island.  Their long legs and necks help them wade through deep waters and mud looking for small crustaceans and shrimp.  They use their webbed feet to stomp in the mud, stirring their snacks to the surface.

The famous pink color of the flamingos coms from the algae in some of the crustaceans these birds eat.  In fact, flamingos are born gray and it takes years for them to build up to the vibrant pink they are known for.

Fun Fact: Flamingos build mud mounds and lay a single egg on top. Scientists believe the mud mound protects the egg from flooding and ground heat.

Crested Caracara

Crested caracara are unique birds in that they not only acrobatic flyers, but they can also spring across the ground. These birds have a very distinct rattling sound they make while also throwing their head backwards.

Caracara’s diet can vary from insects, small reptiles, fish and eggs to decomposing meat they find along the way.

Fun Fact: These birds mate for life.  They are also very territorial which means they return to their nest site each year.

Ruby-Topaz Hummingbird

Look quick because if you blink you might miss them! These birds are FAST, able to beat their wings more than 50 times a second. In fact, their wings beat so fast it creates a hummingbird, which is how it gets its name.

In addition to the humming sound, these birds are distinctive by their vibrant ruby color. These tiny birds only grow to be about 9 cm (3.5 in) tall.  Male and female humming birds look very similar except the male has a ruby colored throat whereas the female’s is more white.

Fun Fact: These hummingbirds build very delicate nests.  It takes 6 to 10 days to carefully craft their nest, which is often no larger than a thimble.  The nest is usually made from grasses and plant fibers and held together with spider silk.

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