There are approximately fifty species of birds that breed on Bonaire. Of these, nine species breed exclusively, or nearly exclusively, in the freshwater wetlands. These are birds such as American Coots, Common and Purple Gallinules, and Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks.
In addition, Bonaire’s freshwater wetlands are an important stop for many species that travel from their breeding grounds in North America to their wintering grounds in South America, and vice versa. These birds, especially all kinds of songbirds, find enough food and rest at the freshwater wetlands to gain strength for the continuation of their long migrations. For instance, in October one can find large flocks of Bobolinks which feed in this area.
Each winter, numerous birds visiting from North America, especially ducks and waders, are also observed at Bonaire’s freshwater wetlands where they spend the winter. In the 2019/2020 winter season, a female Ring-necked Duck passed the winter on Bonaire at the freshwater wetlands. This is a very rare bird on the ABC islands.
Since 2016, fourteen “new” species have been identified on Bonaire. Half of these species were observed in this area of just one square kilometer. Some of these, such as the Crowned Slaty Flycatcher and White-winged Tern, were even new for the ABCs.
Relatively many of the other wanderers–nomadic or vagrant species that are only occasionally observed on Bonaire–have been found to be present in the LVV area.