BASICS


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 (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu).

Monday, September 10, 2018

Shrimp Plant perching, feeding


This hummer often perches near a feeder at the extreme northwest corner of the garden, overlooking Long Island Sound and the beach far below. I often live-stream this view (at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvTj9WdD0zItyBLI6m-U9Og/live?&ab_channel=FredSmith and at facebook.com/bhhummingbird) but the live-streams are of poor quality/resolution (often only 360P) because of my limited internet bandwidth. So here's a short clip of this area filmed with my handheld SONY camcorder. At first the hummer is perching on a twig of the shrimp plant, he then feeds at a couple of the flowers, then at the feeder, and finally I zoom out to show the view.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Hummer-Canna Close-Up; Visiting

Here's a close-up view of a hummer feeding at canna flowers.


The sanctuary is private and NOT OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC. However friends, old and new, are welcome to visit - but please by appointment only!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Hummers fighting over Canna

I've been mostly posting at Facebook, but here's a recent video at the sanctuary, with 2 hummers arguing over who gets the canna flowers. 


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Daniel Hauben painting at the sanctuary again



Once again Daniel Hauben is painting at the sanctuary - here are a couple of the pastel canvases he's working on. We are also livestreaming Danny at work!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Internet was Down - catching up

Rain caused a problem somewhere far away on my phone line, and internet was down for 3 days. Here are a few recent vids.







Saturday, July 21, 2018

Fred direct


The livestreams from the sanctuary are rather blurry, but this is mainly due to the digital zooming I'm forced to do because Fred's perch is 100 feet away from the camera, rather than due to my very limited upload bandwidth. Here's a part of today's livestream but the recording was done direct to the disc on the camera rather than via the Youtube livestream process. This recording was then slowly uploaded to Youtube, but here the bandwidth isn't a limiting factor, yet the video is almost as blurry as the livestreams.
One possible way to avoid this problem would be to use a more powerful telephoto lens, in conjunction with a interchangeable lens camera, but this could be very expensive, and clearly would not work as long as my upload bandwidth is poor. I had hoped to install satellite internet (Viasat) but unfortunately this cannot be done on the roof of the back cabin because of trees, It can be done on the roof of the front cabin, but unfortunately I'm having this re-roofed because a racoon made a large hole up there, and this process keeps getting delayed because of the possibility of rain.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

young hummers starting to show



I'm starting to see what I think are recently fledged hummingbirds visiting the sanctuary, sneaking in when Fred isn't around.
In the first one, the newbie stays well hidden, in the second he visits some salvias that are starting to bloom (Black and Blue and Waverly)


Monday, July 16, 2018

Noise Doubles Heart Attack Rates


We live in an increasingly cacophonous world. Even here in Baiting Hollow, where the background noise level (in the absence of aircraft) is around 20 dB, quiet is rare, mainly because of aircraft (for example, the above recent livestream). We are on the direct routes from Manhattan to East Hampton (mostly smaller low flying aircraft, around 2500 feet or lower) and Europe to JFK (jumbo jets at 10,000 feet), and there's an enormous amount of General Aviation, including a nearby farmer who jumps in his plane and circles over me whenever the skies are quieter. But I remember as a child of 10 looking up with interest when once every few days a plane appeared in the sky (as I still do in Eleuthera). The following graph (https://www.icao.int/sustainability/Pages/Facts-Figures_WorldEconomyData.aspx) tells the story:
Exponential growth since 1950 - doubling time approximately 11 years! What this means is that in my lifetime we have completely lost one of the most important attributes of the world: outdoor quiet! It's irrevocably gone, like the dodo, the Carolina parakeet and the ivory-billed woodpecker. I find this incredibly sad, and also appalling. Peace and quiet would, after food, shelter and friendship, top almost everyone's list of desires, but to all intents and purposes it's completely gone (except perhaps deep in the heart of the Hoh Rainforest of Washington State's Olympic Peninsula). All in the name of "convenience", and not even a whisper of protest.

From the Wikipedia article on aircraft noise:

"A large-scale statistical analysis of the health effects of aircraft noise was undertaken in the late 2000s by Bernhard Greiser for the Umweltbundesamt, Germany's central environmental office. The health data of over one million residents around the Cologne airport were analysed for health effects correlating with aircraft noise. The results were then corrected for other noise influences in the residential areas, and for socioeconomic factors, to reduce possible skewing of the data.[10]
The German study concluded that aircraft noise clearly and significantly impairs health.[10] For example, a day-time average sound pressure level of 60 decibels increasing coronary heart disease by 61% in men and 80% in women. As another indicator, a night-time average sound pressure level of 55 decibels increased the risk of heart attacks by 66% in men and 139% in women. Statistically significant health effects did however start as early as from an average sound pressure level of 40 decibels.[10]"