BASICS: 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.
The sanctuary is ONLY open certain, very limited, dates/times, starting july 20, and ending sept 15, and ONLY by specific private appointment, at particular, available "slot" times posted at this blog. No visits of any type without a confirmed appointment (

Monday, March 27, 2017

Foot in Mouth

Here's a close-up video of a hummer (Bahama Woodstar at Calypso) preening, and using his foot to try to remove the pollen from his bill.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Drone at Calypso

My stepson Noah is visiting Calypso and brought with him (together with the appropriate permit!) his Phantom 2 Drone with GoPro camera. Here's an example of the results - still rather wobbly, because no gimbal.

The drone first flies down our driveway and then turns left onto the sandy track that goes through our property. It then swings back to show our house "SeaStar" and slowly starts to climb to reveal Calypso Pond behind the house, and the sun setting in the west. It then turns clockwise to show the ocean and, as it swings to the east, our little cottage "Morningstar" and, well beyond,  a cluster of neighboring houses beyond the eastern edge of our property.  Continuing to turn clockwise, it shows Seastar again. Noah is just getting the hang of droning but it shows the general layout.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Bahama Woodstar Adult Male Close-Up

Filmed march 8.
Yesterday I also saw a female hummingbird poking at Thumbelina's old nest remnants - she appeared to be taking fragments of the old nest, presumably to incorporate into a new nest somewhere. I will hunt for it.

The last I heard of the 2 Aquebogue rufouses was on feb 22, when they were doing very well - in part thanks to the live fruit-flies the homeowner is releasing in her yard, to provide protein snacks. And ruby-throats are already on the gulf coast (see They will be back on Long Island in less than 2 months - you should get your feeders out by tax day.
Sorry I've not been posting recently - we have been happily busy with a succession of visitors. But I will now try to post more regularly.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

North Fork Rufous Update; Calypso views

I'm happy to report that the 2 rufous hummingbirds that have adopted a North Fork backyard as their winter residence are doing fine. The devoted and tireless homeowner has been releasing live fruit-flies on warmer days, to provide the protein they need. At some point they will presumably head back across the country to their west coast breeding grounds, but the time is not yet ripe yet.
Here at Calypso I've been battling a nasty cold which has left me unable to do much, except enjoy sitting in the park-like grounds. Here are a few videos I shot yesterday showing some of the great variety of palms I have grown over the 25 years we've been coming here.

Here you see (from left to right) a purple Ti plant, a sabal palmetto, a Veitchia arecina, a Royal Palm, a Foxtail palm, a white banana-like Strelitizia nicolai and a pink oleander.

The second video shows the same group of palms etc on the left, and a bottle palm on the right, with a zoom to an oleander blossom.

A triangle palm in the foreground of the next clip.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Blue Boy

The adult male Bahama Woodstar hummingbird has a purple throat gorget, but in the gray light of a cool wet day like today, it looks almost blue. This guy is guarding a feeder just outside our window.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Empty Nest Syndrome

Yesterday we got an inch of rain and I was not able to look at the nest; I filmed this from inside:

This morning, dry and sunny, I found the nest to be empty. I'm pretty sure that the two chicks fledged yesterday, or possibly very early this morning. The nest did look a bit squished but as I wrote in my last post, it was already somewhat flattened the day before the rain.
Very likely the 2 chicks, still only able to fly very short distances, are hanging out somewhere in the immense (100 feet wide) of their densely-foliaged tropical almond tree. I did spot what appeared to be a young hummer high up in the canopy,at the end of a bare twig, but he was gone by the time I came back with my camera.
In the meantime here's a vid from last summer in Baiting Hollow, showing a male hummer at a feeder with Long Island Sound in the background.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Thumbelina's chicks almost ready to fledge

Everything seems to have happened very fast though it's already 5 weeks since I first spotted the nest. The chicks are now both poking their heads well out of the nest and looking around alertly. The nest itself has expanded in diameter and flattened somewhat. Tomorrow rain and wind is predicted but I think they will in any case soon fledge. Here are a couple of clip from this morning.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Hibiscus Blossoms; Quogue Stabbing; will Trump stop the carnage?

Here at Calypso pink hibiscus are flowering:

Thumbelina continues her feeding/stabbing of her rapidly growing chicks. This aggressive style of feeding is characteristic of all hummingbirds - here's the same behavior at the ruby-throat nest in Quogue I filmed during the summer.  

Perhaps this is the "carnage" Trump will stop? 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Monday, January 16, 2017

Thumbelina's chicks are growing fast

Thumbelina has been very busy ferrying food (mostly half-digested insects) to her 2 chicks, which are now sufficiently big that their beaks poke well above the nest when she is feeding them (though it sometimes seems as if she's stabbing them!). It's still fairly windy so the nest sometimes swings out of view.