BASICS: "Hummingbirds.....where is the person, I ask, who, on observing this glittering fragment of the rainbow, would not pause, admire, and turn his mind with reverence..." (J. J. Audubon).
This is a blog about my summer life at the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary, at my winter garden, Calypso, in the Bahamas, and aspects of life in general.
This private sanctuary is now permanently closed to the general public, as a result of a lawsuit brought by a neighbor. Only my friends and personal guests may visit (

Monday, March 12, 2018

Adult Male Bahama Woodstar Hummingbird

This fellow is guarding the 2 feeders under the porch of our house at Calypso, on the island of Eleuthera. He perches on a clothes line we sometimes use when it rains. Notice his purple gorget (black except when viewed from the front). The third video is a view of coconut palms here.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Donna DeSousa visits Calypso

Some of you may know Donna DeSousa, an avid hummingbirder in Greenlawn who has been a long-time supporter of the sanctuary, and who started the FaceBook page "Friends of the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary". Tragically her teenage daughter Maggie succumbed to a brutal cancer last year and I took over the administration of FotBHSS, while she has set up an organization to fight childhood cancer: Maggie's MIssion. She recently took a much needed break here at Calypso and took this picture of a young male hummingbird just outside her oceanfront cottage:

She showed me where he was perching and I got this video:

Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Couple of Beach Videos

Here are today's views to the right (i.e east) and left (i.e. west) from the beach at Calypso. The recent storms in the Northeast generated big waves that have shifted sand onto our beach.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Recycling an old nest

6 weeks ago I filmed a hummingbird nest in our yard on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera which was briefly occupied by a soon-to-fledge youngster ( Today, sitting under the shade of the tropical almond that sheltered that nest, I noticed a hummer briefly fussing at the nest. She was making darting movements with her bill and I thought she was rebuilding the nest, perhaps for a new brood. But it was too quick to be sure what was happening. So I fetched my camcorder and waited for her to return. After a half an hour she did return and started fussing again. It only lasted a few seconds but I got a brief video, and reviewing the footage one can see clearly she's rapidly snatching fragments of her old nest - presumably to use them elsewhere. In a way I'm rather relieved she's not going to re-occupy this old nest, because, as they do several times a year, the almond is in the process of losing all its leaves, and the nest would be exposed to the fierce sun. I'll try to find the new nest she's building. 4X slo-mo.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Male Close-up

An adult male Bahama Woodstar hummingbird (Calliphlox evelynae) filmed at Calypso, Eleuthera, The Bahamas, jan 5 2018. He's perched on an oleander twig, close to a feeder he's defending.  It's fairly cool and he's rather fluffed up. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Other Chick Fledges

This morning the second chick was still in the nest - but clearly almost ready to fledge:

I was able to film Mom feeding this chick.

A bit later I filmed what I took to be Mom approach the nest as if to feed but on reviewing the video I saw that it was a male - note the purple throat - possibly Dad. Maybe he was urging Junior to jump, but instead the chick cowered very low into the nest. Then at noon I saw the nest was empty. I heard a hummer buzzing around in a nearby tree - and filmed what I believe to be Mom preening herself. She then went higher into the branches but I could not see if she was feeding her fledged chicks.

Hummer Mom Feeds just-Fledged Chick

I was just about to dead-head an oleander, here at the Bahamian winter location of the Sanctuary, when I noticed perched right in front of me a tiny hummingbird. I knew immediately that it had recently fledged, because the beak was very short, and the bird made no attempt to fly off, even though I was only 2 feet away. I quickly went to fetch my video camera from the house, and he (I will assume it was a boy) was still there when I returned and started to film. In less that a minute I heard the mother buzzing nearby, she passes briefly close then lands on the twig. The chick was chipping/squeaking as she approached, and only stopped when the mother moves closer and started to feed the chick. But the mother was clearly spooked by my presence and started to buzz me threateningly. I retreated, and then filmed the chick, still in the same spot, from a different angle. I then decided to see if I could find the nest, since clearly the chick had very recently fledged, and would still be very near the nest. Sure enough I soon spotted the nest in a large tropical almond tree - the same tree where I had filmed Thumbelina a year ago! And the second chick was still in the nest! 
Here's a view of the nest:

and of the sibling fledgling from another viewpoint:

and a wider view of the nest:

Thursday, December 21, 2017


I'm now at our winter place in the Bahamas. It's good to be warm again, and surrounded by hummingbirds. Here are a couple of movies I cobbled together using footage I shot yesterday. The first, short, movie is drone-based, the second, long, one shows the garden, opening with a hummingbird sequence.