The Plain-capped Starthroat
A Plain-capped Starthroat is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Plain-capped Starthroats. We have also put together a list of fun Plain-capped Starthroat t-shirts, Plain-capped Starthroat bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird watching items.
About Plain-capped Starthroats
The Plain-capped Starthroat is a fairly large bird from the hummingbird species and it is native to North Africa. They are predominant to the western coast of the southern region of North America. Breeding and Nesting mainly happen in Mexico before moving off to other regions like northwestern Costa Rico. In the United States, they have been recorded in the south-easternmost regions mainly Arizona. Their conversation status is ‘Least Concern’ as their numbers seem to be stable over the years.
Description and Identification
Plain-capped Starthroats are relatively large hummingbirds at a length of 4.33 – 4.72 inches.
Adults have a metallic bronze plumage on their upper parts, tail, back, and crown. These
colors are further accentuated by their dark eye-stripe with a white eye-stripe above and a
white patch on the rump. Their names are derived from the metallic violet-red throat patch
that gives them an iridescent sheen, especially vibrant in contrast to their grayish-white
breasts and underparts. They have straight, long, and slender bills that are dark in color.
There is very little sexual dimorphism exhibited in the species, with the plumages of both
sexes looking similar but with the females looking less vibrant. Juveniles look similar to
adults but don dark sooty brown or dusky feathers on their throats while their feathers are
terminally margined with grayish-white.
Plain-capped Starthroat Color Pattern
The male and female are the same in color. Their upper parts are bronzy with dull green patches. They have an irregularly shaped white patch on the lower back. They have a dark eye stripe accompanied by a white stripe above and below the dark stripe. Their gorget is metallic violet-red.
Plain-capped Starthroat Size
They are fairly large birds considering other birds in the hummingbird species. Their length ranges between 11-12cm while its wingspan is averaged at 13cm. They have a body mass of 7-8g.
Plain-capped Starthroat Behavior
There is very little information about the Plain-capped Starthroat. The bird forages at all heights accessing tubular flowers and catching insects in mid-air. They follow a regular route when foraging which is referred to as traplining.
They are solitary birds as they would be seen chasing away conspecific birds from their feeding and nesting grounds. They are also polygamous birds.
Plain-capped Starthroat Food
Due to limited data on these birds, it is presumed that nectar is the main part of their diet.
The birds are important pollinating agents to a number of species and often have a mutually
beneficial relationship with the flowering plants and trees that they feed on. These plants
have been reported to include black-spined agave, bromelia pinguin, orange flame or
chameleon vine, Erythrina chiapansa, and E. pudica. During the breeding seasons, they
might consume insects for proteins like other hummingbird species. They have long, sticky
tongues that allow them to catch insects in flight or within tree barks.
Their main diet like any other hummingbird is nectar and insects. The flowering plants they get nectar from are the Agave macroacantha, Bromelia pinguin, and Erythrina chiapansa among others.
Plain-capped Starthroat Habitat
These birds occur in arid to semiarid forests and by the forest edges of thorn forests. They
are also found in arid scrub, gallery forests, areas with abundant secondary growth, and in
semi-open areas with scattered trees and hedges. One such example of partially open areas
that they frequent is coffee plantations, especially as they begin to flower.
They like arid and semi-arid forests and forest edges. Other locations include arid scrub, gallery forest, thorn forest, and second-growth as well as semi-open areas.
Range and Migration
Plain-capped Starthroats are large, metallic hummingbirds that are found breeding in the arid
and semiarid regions from the Sierra Madre Occidentals of Mexico to southern Costa Rica.
These birds are non-migratory and are residents of their breeding habitats, but the birds at
the northernmost parts of their range may migrate to lower elevations during the winter.
Occasionally, they have been recorded in the Madrean sky islands of the Sierra Madre
ranges, and in southeastern Arizona as well. These birds also make localized movements in
response to the timing of flowering.
Plain-capped Starthroat Life Cycle
The female Plain-capped Starthroat clutches two eggs like other hummingbirds. They incubate the eggs for 14-17 days. The young leave the nest 20 days after they hatched. Their information on lifespan is not quite known but based on the average period for most hummingbirds, it could be 5 years.
Plain-capped Strathroat Nesting
It is unclear which member of the pair selects the nest site, but there are assumptions that it
is made by the females. Nesting occurs from January to June with the nests being
constructed entirely by the females. Sites are usually placed near the tip of a branch in an
exposed position, high in a tree at the forest edge, or in a savanna. The nests themselves are a
shallow cup of pale-colored plant down woven together, with the outsides often decorated
with bits of bark and gray lichen. The interiors are then lined with softer materials like
rootlets, vegetation, hair, feathers, and spider silk.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Plain-capped Starthroats
The most common types of bird watching binoculars for viewing Plain-capped Starthroats are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Plain-capped Starthroat T-shirts
If you love the Plain-capped Starthroat you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Plain-capped Starthroat Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Plain-capped Starthroat is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Plain-capped Starthroat Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Plain-capped Starthroat. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders for Plain-capped Starthroats
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.m.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US”>
Best Bird Houses for Plain-capped Starthroats
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.