What Are Those Big White Birds You See Around Bonaire?
Bonaire has no lack of “big white birds,” but sometimes it can be difficult to tell them apart. This guide will give you a few hints and tips as to what to look for when attempting to identify one of the island’s big, white birds!
What should I look for first?
Let’s start off with some questions that you should ask yourself immediately when spotting one of Bonaire’s big white birds:
How big is it?
If you’ve been birding for a while, you probably can give the bird “an eyeball” and immediately ascertain how large it is, although, with some herons, looks can be deceiving when they are hunched over.
However, newbie birders might find this manner of establishing size more difficult. In this case, find something in your field of vision that you can approximately measure; a rock, a tree or bush, even another bird you can identify. Once you know the size of that object you can judge the size of a bird in comparison.
What shape is it?
What general shape does your big white bird have? Is it tall and slim, or short and more rotund? How about the length of the legs? Each of the answers to these questions can help with the identification of your big white bird.
What color and type of bill does it have?
Bills are adapted to the type of food the birds prefer. Generally, the big white birds you will encounter on Bonaire are egrets or herons. Both have long, dagger-like bills, but mostly the herons will have much thicker bills than the egrets you will encounter.