Birds of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao is a must-have book

When I initially saw the book, Birds of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, I assumed it was a simple birding guide. Boy, was I wrong!

This book, by Jeffrey and Allison Wells, is a thoughtful and comprehensive exploration of ecology and conservation in the islands. And oh yes, it’s also an exceptional birding guide, from beautiful bird illustrations by Robert Dean to specific places to see those birds.

Linda and I enjoyed two trips to Aruba, which is a very beautiful and restful place. But alas, we were not birders at that time. The Allison’s book sure did take me back there, however. They made their first of many trips to Aruba in 1993. Lucky them!

Jeff is Senior Scientist for the International Boreal Conservation Campaign and Boreal Songbird Initiative and a research associate at Cornell Lab of Orinthology. He’s authored a number of books.

Allison is Senior Director of Public Affairs at the Natural Resources Council of Maine. She’s authored many columns about natural history and coauthored with Jeff a couple of birding books, including my favorite, Maine’s Favorite Birds. Linda and I have seen all of those!

I also noted that among the books Robert Dean has illustrated is The Wildlife of Costa Rica. Linda and I enjoyed  a fabulous birding adventure to Costa Rica.

In the introduction, Jeff and Allison, who live in Maine, wrote “We hope birders from all parts of the world – including the ABCs – will find this book useful and enjoyable. But we also hope to reach the beachgoers, golfers, shoppers, windsurfers, and scuba divers – indeed, anyone wishing to learn more about the birds of Aruba, Bonaire, and Caracao and where to find them.

Put one of these beautiful islands on your must-visit list, and be sure to take this book with you! And check out this website for some great columns:

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.