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Birdwatching & Nature Tours Aruba

Oranjestad, Aruba
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About Birdwatching & Nature Tours Aruba
Private Birdwatching and Nature tours. Due to my personal affection for birds and knowledge of the island, I got specialized in bird watching and bird photography tours. As important, my service’s philosophy is to raise public perception of the value of Aruba’s natural environments and to help preserve them for future generations. Email me at birdwatchingaruba@gmail.com for a quote. Michiel
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Birdwatching & Nature Tours Aruba
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nbacca wrote a review Jun 16
Stratford, Connecticut3 contributions
This was a great option for a morning away from the beach. If you like nature or birds or learning something new about the island - just do it. Book the trip and leave all the planning to Michiel. We saw so many things we wouldn't have found on our own and learned a lot about the landscape and wildlife of Aruba.
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Date of experience: June 2021
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Else18l wrote a review Jun 13
West Chester, Pennsylvania8 contributions2 helpful votes
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What a fabulous bird watching experience! We spent 1/2 day exploring the beauty of nature in Aruba and encountered about 50 different bird species! Michiel was an excellent guide and quite knowledgeable about the wildlife around the island. Highly recommend this tour for nature lovers and bird watching enthusiasts! You won’t be disappointed!
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Date of experience: June 2021
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Sean Malin wrote a review Jun 4
Los Angeles, California26 contributions9 helpful votes
Michiel is a complete genius and tailored our trip perfectly for our schedule and preferences. We were assigned to his tour by a tourism company, knew nothing about him at first, and went on a whim. But we quickly learned that Michiel is a fountain of knowledge with a deep well of patience, curiosity, and empathy - as well as an absolutely incredible eye and LOVE for birds. We spent nearly 5 hours with him and every second was a complete joy. The bird tour itself consisted of multiple stops around the island's various microclimates with Michiel narrating and describing their different functions and ecosystems. He knows them all, helps to preserve them all, has committed to their total rehabilitation and takes every care to be safe and eco-conscious, far more so than any of the other, larger tour companies on the island (there was evidence to this and bad behavior all around on the tour companies' parts while we toured). He is as quick to share multiple little private spots which mean something personal, or expound on the beauty of a well-loved natural site, as he is to note when he sees something that damages or threatens nature. He is, in short, deeply humanist, which comes across very quickly and informs every choice on the tours. We are nature lovers and have visited many sites over the years with tons of tours on the way. But none has ever had the impact of Michiel's. We are so grateful to have him spend so much time and knowledge with us, and wish him and his family so well. Anyone who loves nature, animals, aesthetic beauty, culture, travel, sunrises, the sea, or Aruba will have the time of their life on his tours.
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Date of experience: June 2021
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Response from BirdwatchingAruba, Owner at Birdwatching & Nature Tours Aruba
Responded 1 week ago
Thank you so much for this great review Sean and Katie, you humble me. Very glad that I had the opportunity to host and at the same time impress you with the beauty Aruba's nature has to offer. Hope you'll be back soon, Michiel
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nlsmiley4 wrote a review May 2021
Indianapolis, Indiana16 contributions28 helpful votes
Michiel is truly one of the best birders I have ever met. His knowledge and enthusiasm are second to none. He actually seemed more excited to go on the tour than I was. He is very knowledgeable of the island and were to find whatever birds you are wanting to see. I ended up with 27 lifers during the trip (would have been more had I not birded by myself days before the tour). His knowledge of birds isn't just for Aruba. He knows many of the birds of North and South American as well so he is able to compare the birds of Aruba to those maybe more familiar to you. I mentioned on the way back home as the trip was ending that the only bird I really wanted to see that we hadn't yet was a southern lapwing. Five minutes later, I was staring at one since he know exactly were to find it. It was the best birding trip I have ever been on. Highly recommend.
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Date of experience: May 2021
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Response from BirdwatchingAruba, Owner at Birdwatching & Nature Tours Aruba
Responded 1 week ago
Thank you so much Nick, we surely had a terrific day and the birds were very cooperative. I'll be waiting for your next visit! Michiel
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2 Weary Travelers wrote a review May 2021
Worldwide73 contributions4 helpful votes
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Aruba bird trip While in Aruba, my wife and I decided to do a Bucuti recommended bird watching trip. It was described as a 5-6 hour trip around the island with a local professional photographer and bird expert, and boy was it great. Michiel met us on time at 7am at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Monday morning. He was thoughtful enough to email me a few days prior and recommend having Bucuti provide some food as the excursion started before breakfast would be available. To our surprise, once Francesco at Bucuti learned we were doing the trip, he offered to have food brought to our room the night prior. We were given meats, cheeses, breads, orange juice and more. Right away, we could see Michiel was truly a bird enthusiast. I think he was more excited to start than we were. He asked us what we were hoping to see and we replied, an owl and flamingo. Other than that we were happy to see whatever he wanted to show us. Within 20 minutes, we were at the Burrowing Owl’s home!! The owl was much smaller than we could have ever imagined. So small that as Michiel and I were taking pictures, my wife was still trying to spot him. Michiel explained there are many burrows around the island, but the tourism industry is affecting their habitat. Actually, he explained the tourism industry is affecting many of the local species environment. It would seem the Aruba government doesn’t enforce the protected areas very well, and are often damaged by tourists. In our opinion, the damage isn’t on purpose by tourists, it’s just a lack of knowledge. Michiel is very passionate about protecting the island’s wildlife. Throughout the day, Michiel would drive us from spot to spot showing us what Aruba has to offer. We saw various plovers, pelicans, and terns. I was amazed to find a Brown-footed Booby as well! We went to the mangroves and saw the most colorful hummingbirds we have ever seen. We even visited two other owl’s nests. One of the stops was to the Bubali Bird Sanctuary. This is actually very close to Bucuti, maybe even walking distance if you can stand the temperatures. Here we observed various water birds like Muscovy Ducks, Cormorants, and Herons. One rare sighting that happened just before we were going to leave was the Purple Gallinule. I managed to grab some great pictures of it leaving the area. We then went in search of the Caracara. This took us off-roading for 30 minutes or more along the ocean on dirt paths. We spotted an Osprey with a fresh kill, and a protective Oystercatcher. The Oystercatcher was hilarious. She had a nest nearby in the rocks and did not enjoy us being there. She first ran, then flew up to us, angrily making her calls at us. She even flew directly next to the drivers window as we drove away from her. As we drove away to let her be, the trip was nearing its end. We didn’t spot the Caracara, but it’s a great reason to come back again another day. On the drive back to the hotel, Michiel quickly stops and turns into a dry barren parking lot. He says he saw a flamingo. We see nothing but the Rosette spoonbills that were there earlier in the morning. But sure enough, in between them was a juvenile flamingo. We expected a flamingo to be pink, but since this one was young, it has not eaten enough shrimp to turn its coat pink. Michiel said this was a lucky sighting as the Flamingo can be here a day or two and then move on to Bonaire, a local habitat for it. Michiel reminded us both about how knowledgeable a Safari guide is. While on previous safaris, our guides seemed to have laser vision to spot everything big and small. Michiel’s knowledge of bird calls was the most impressive. We would be driving with the windows down and he would be calling out birds that he heard along the way. He could explain their breeding habits, where they are typically located, even tell the owls apart from one another. Truly impressive. We certainly hope to come back for another day birding in Aruba. The following is a list of the birds spotted on this trip (hopefully I identified them correctly as it was a lot to take in!) Purple Gallinule, Common Gallinule, Blacks-faced Grassquit Bananaquit, Bare-eyed Pigeon, Tropical Mockingbird, Venezuelan Troupial, Roseate Spoonbill, American Kestrel, American Oystercatcher, Osprey, Neotropic Cormorant Black crowned Night Heron Muscovy Duck, American Coot, Brown pelican, Green heron, Black-necked stilt, Tricolored Heron, Killdeer, White-rumped Sandpiper, Brown Booby, Royal Tern, Least Tern, Laughing gull, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Ruby-topaz hummingbird, Blue-tailed Emerald hummingbird, Burrowing Owl, Caribbean Elaenia, Yellow Warbler, Gray Kingbird, American Flamingo, Black Skimmer
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Date of experience: May 2021
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