Aruba is a part of what is called the Dutch Antilles, along with the islands of Bonaire and Curaçao. The island lies northwest of Venezuela and is generally flat, although the interior features some rolling volcanic hills including Hooiberg (165 meters) and Mount Jamanota, the highest on the island at 188 meters.
Aruba has four Important Bird Areas that cover just 1,507 acres, but between them they support over 30,000 seabirds and a number of other signification bird populations.
Aruba’s 207 recorded species comprise up to 70 resident (current or former) breeding species and 164 migrants. Most of the migrants (some of which winter on the island) are Neotropical migrants from breeding grounds in North America, although many are vagrants. A smaller number are of South American origin, representing either dispersing individuals or austral migrants overshooting their northern South American wintering grounds having originated from breeding grounds further south or west. However, the island is seriously under-recorded in terms of its bird life. Three species (Collard Plover, American Oystercatcher, and Black Noddy) are more recently confirmed breeders, demonstrating how much there is still to discover on the island, and how important it is for birdwatchers to record their observations in eBird!
Aruba supports just one Northern South America biome-restricted bird, namely Bare-eyed Pigeon, and no restricted-range species. However, two subspecies are endemic to the island—the Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) and Brown-throated Parakeet (Aratinga pertinax arubensis).
Aruba supports significant populations of breeding terns (Sterna and Anous spp.), with globally significant numbers of the “Cayenne” form of Sandwich Tern, Roseate Tern, and Common Tern, as well as Laughing Gull.
In Aruba, the official languages are Dutch and Papiamento but nearly everyone speaks English and Spanish. Papiamento—a creole mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, and African languages—is the dominant language on the island.