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August 1997

by Laura Gooch

I just returned from a trip to western Mexico, and although it was pretty much of a working trip that didn't allow much time for birding, we were at a couple of places that have hummingbird feeders up that will provide consistent good views of local hummers. I thought folks might be interested, so here are the locations:

1) Durango State.

On the highway between Mazatlan and Durango, about 1:15-1:30 hours from the turn off from Highway 15 south of Mazatlan, there's a "town" called Chirimollos. The town consists basically of one restaurant built into a hill at a bend in the road and one or two houses. The owners of the restaurant are June and Salome Reyes, and they keep hummingbird feeders there. We were there in mid August, and the only birds there then were Berylline and Violet crowned. June says that she has the most birds in July, August, and September, and she gets a variety of species at some time, including the Plain-capped starthroat and species which are more common in the U.S. The restaurant is a very pleasant, casual place where you can eat the food without worry while you watch the birds. There's a sign that says "Buen Comida" and "Good Food" out front. You can't miss it. The two towns just before it (toward Mazatlan) on the road are Taxte de Capilla and Santa Lucia. There's a decent (but far from fancy) hotel in Taxte de Capilla. The road is well paved and maintained, but it is relatively narrow, and very steep and winding, so be prepared. There are plenty of crosses along the side where people missed the bad corners.

2) Sonora State

About 10 km before you reach Alamos (from the west -- it's the only direction you can come from), there's an RV park called the El Caracol Country Club, where the owner, Dehlia Whitesman, keeps a feeder. She had Violet crowns only coming while we were there, but I suspect she may have other species some time. She owns 3000 acres, and I think she has a pretty diverse bird population on the property, particularly in the spring. She said she'd had the Magpie jays lined up outside her house in the spring.

Hope folks traveling in Mexico find this useful.

Laura Gooch
Cleveland, Ohio