Estero del Yugo

January 1, 2011

Paul and I love birds and when I read about the Estero del Yugo in M! Magazine back in July I knew I wanted to visit. Why did it take us so long, anyway?  It is a place to visit every season of the year.  I plan on going back frequently, and could sit for hours with my binoculars watching the wildlife.  When you go, carry with you binoculars and a camera – and during the rainy season I would suggest putting on bug spray, bringing water, and wearing a cap.  There was a gift shop with T-shirts, but it was closed while we were there.

Oriole nest

The Estero del Yugo is just on the right as you pass the turnoff for Maz Agua water park in Cerritos.  The sign at the entrance is above.  Turn in, pay 50 pesos, and you’re given a brochure and map and a bird listing that you can check off as you go. We saw dozens of different species, with the highlight being the roseate spoonbill!  They get their pink color from eating shrimp, and there is plenty of that in Mazatlán – but the spoonbill is a rare sight here.  I sure wish I had a better camera – the picture below is the best I could do from across the water.

Roseate spoonbills… easily identified with binoculars, not so much with my photo!

There is a trail through the vegetation next to the water and here and there a viewing platform juts out into the water or where the water will be during the rainy season. There is one three story tall viewing platform that wobbled a bit with several of us on it, but affords a wonderful view.  This is where I could sit for hours, watching.

The view across. This was taken from a view platform “blind.”

Winter is obviously the less showy time to visit – nothing is flowering and the grounds are dry.  But just because it’s dry doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting!  We had a blast seeing all the termite mounds – which would be much harder to see when all the vegetation is leafed out.  Paul gently touched one termite mound and made  small hole – immediately a group of termites started working to repair it and by the time we left it was almost totally repaired.  Termites are an important bird food in these dry lowland areas.


I‘ve made a photo gallery of the pictures I took and plan on adding more to it as I visit during other seasons.  You can see it on the Photos page or here.  I also found a short (35 second) video of the Estero del Yugo during rainy season – view it here.

More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. Nancy,
      What a wonderful bird sanctuary. I look forward to seeing your different pictures through the seasons.

    1. Looks like a fun visit. Who could have guessed you were a birder LOL Have enjoyed so much your pic/videos of your little patio hummingbirds.


    1. Great photos! I watch birds here near Kino Bay all day, endless enjoyment. Just added you to my blogroll.

    1. Hubby and I are crazy about birds. We are bringing a new camera on our next trip to Mazatlan, maybe we will make our way to the sanctuary. Even at the resort there are tons of birds to watch.

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