My tropical garden – Mazatlán hummingbirds

August 9, 2011

We have a new visitor to our garden this summer, a plain capped starthroat hummingbird!  (That’s a picture of him at the top of the post)  I knew right away it was a newcomer by the assertive way he flies and the white underside and patch on his back.  It took a little while to identify him – and I was grateful for the help of some birders at

Plain Capped Starthroat Hummingbird

He’s a big bird, maybe even bigger than the cinnamon hummingbirds we see – about 4″.  A cinnamon is below, enjoying the evening sun. All the hummingbirds love perching on those dead bouganvilla branches!

Cinnamon Hummingbird

Below is another cinnamon – looks way different doesn’t it, all hunkered down like that? He was clicking like crazy every time another bird came near the feeder, but he didn’t chase them off.


The most common hummingbird in our yard is the emerald. They are tiny – about 2″ only. They zip around, fighting and chasing, and are the most common birds bathing in our courtyard fountain. I am having real problems taking decent bird pictures with my little camera, sorry about the grainy picture below.

Emerald Hummingbird

The emeralds are so funny to watch, especially in the evening as they fill up at bedtime.  Sometimes we’ll have 10 or more buzzing around and making us laugh. They love to get wet, too.  I love the picture below.

Emerald Hummingbird in the rain in Mazatlan Mexico


We caught an emerald the other night enjoying the rain from one of those dead bougainvilla stems.  You can almost hear him singing in the shower!

The final hummingbird we see in our yard is a little hermit.  He is tiny and cute, I love his mask!

ltl hermit
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More about Nancy

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

    1. What pretty birds. Your post reminds me that I want to bring a hummingbird feeder on our next trip down. What do you put in the feeder? I’ve read that the red-dyed liquid is going out of favour.

      1. Barb, I make the solution with 1 cup sugar to 4 cups water. You can buy hummingbird feeders in Mazatlán at Casa del Campesino on Zaragoza. They are plastic and look like a strawberry and the orioles have trouble drinking from them. I use those mostly during the winter when the orioles spill or drink the nectar every five minutes!

        Laura, They adore hibiscus and bougainvilla thank goodness!

    1. I hope to catch your new visitor in my garden this winter. I thought the cinnamon was captivating last winter. Always something to look forward to.

    1. That’s one of the things Stan and I love to see on our visits-we are such bird people!

    1. I love that little fluff ball taking a shower. You really got some good pics of these little guys and isn’t that clicking warning an interesting sound.

    1. Thanks for reminding me, Nancy, that I want to get a hummingbird feeder. Lacking an indoor garden like yours, I won’t get a ringside seat for their antics but maybe I’ll catch sight of them more often. Yours are so interesting and varied! I’ve never seen any but emeralds here in San Carlos.

      1. Contessa, I imagine there are more varieties of hummers in my yard than I can discern. That’s my project for now, seeing if there are various types of Emeralds…

        Marty, They really are a treat to watch. Have you ever been to Estero de Yugo? Paul and I are going back for a rainy season visit sometime in the next week, I will do a blog post on it when we come back.

        Zoe, I am so familiar with the types that visit our place that I can tell the Cinnamon click from the Emerald click. Funny the things you clutter your head with.

        Bliss, If you have any way to add a little water feature to your garden you will attract tons of hummers. Just a tiny bubbler and a spot to sit and wash is all they need, especially in the dry season.

    1. Hi Nancy,

      I just moved to Mazatlan, from Cabo San Lucas.. I saw many cinamon $ emeralds in the months of June/July.. Now theyre gone and i am wondering when they will be back!! I have never seen any of those beautiful startroaths! I like your pictures, especially the one with the fluffy one whos enjoying the rain! Anyway, hope to hear from you soon!



      1. Isaac, Welcome to Mazatlán! We still have cinnamons in our garden – I wonder if a neighbor put up a feeder or if some of your flowers have stopped blooming? I hope you enjoy life in Mazatlán, be sure to check out the links on the @Maz page, too!

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