BASICS: Long Island gets hummingbirds throughout the summer, but not many. The Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary and Garden may be the best place on the island to see them.
However we are ONLY open in august and ONLY by appointment, at specific "slot" times which are posted at this blog.

You need a printed, dated SIGNED WAIVER, which will be sent to you to confirm your appointment, along with directions and instructions. We are always closed 12.30-3. You visit AT YOUR OWN RISK - there are steep narrow uneven paths and dilapidated chairs and structures, and parking is limited: carpool if possible. Be careful not to trespass on neighbors, as indicated by ropes and signs. Hand-held cameras only please, except by previous arrangement. There is no admission charge BUT YOU MUST BRING a signed dated liability waiver form. Dated waiver forms are provided only by request, in conjunction with your appointment. Private groups (eg photographers, birders, gardeners) can request their own dedicated session.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hyssop mission

Continuing with my stash of videos from the summer, here's another with a backdrop of Long Island Sound. This time the hummingbird is focussing on mexican hyssop, Agastache cana, which has a wonderfully mint-flavored leaf. He's ignoring the white flowered version of Salvia greggii, though this has nectar too.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Alice Dupont with hummer

Here on the front deck Mandevilla "Alice Dupont" climbs up a trellis. If you look carefully in the center you'll see a hummingbird feeding at a partly hidden feeder. These gorgeous flowers are nectarless, though once I saw an inexperienced hummer get his head stuck in one (they explore everything) and had to shake him loose.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Movie from this summer: hummingbird with Long Island Sound

As many visitors know, one of the great joys of summer at the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary is to sit on the front deck overlooking Long Island Sound spread out before one, with hummingbirds buzzing through the various Salvias - here the very popular Rosebud Sage, Salvia involucrata "Bethellii".
I'm happy to announce that I fly down to our winter place on the Bahamian Island of Eleuthera this sunday: flight from JFK to Nassau then a quick hop over to Eleuthera. I'll be reporting on hummingbirds down there, and gardening, as soon as I get the internet there working again (but don't hold your breath). Also, lot's more movies from this summer to upload, to help you through the long winter.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Early in the season, and very late.

I'm catching up on videos I've not yet posted on this blog. First here's a short clip from november 4, which shows the hummer that came very late in the season. The bird is feeding at pineapple sage (in the right part of the screen). It's amazing how different everything looks just over a month later: not only no hummingbirds, but no flowers or even leaves!

Next, here's a movie from much earlier in the season (june 4). It shows Coral, the adult female hummer who often visited. This was well before any juvenile hummers showed up, around mid july. She's visiting coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) the best honeysuckle for hummingbirds. 4X slo-mo, and with an added music soundtrack.

As you can see neither of these videos is much good - that's why I did not already post them at the appropriate time. But I decided to post on the blog all the videos that I had previously, rather laboriously, posted to Youtube, before I start using my cache of unposted videos (many from late sept and early october, when hummers were still quite active).

Here's one showing Fred, the resident male hummer (4X slo mo, june 12). He takes off from a twig. Again, not much good. 

 But here's a better one, again with Fred on a twig, but close up (but only a brief hint of the red color of the gorget, which looks black from this angle).

Finally, and apparently out of sequence (but I seem to have uploaded it on july 18) is one from much earlier, when we were still at Calypso, our winter place in the Bahamas. This shows the lakeside walk, with desert rose on limestone plinths to the left, some coconit palms and a bismarck palm (on the right) waving in the trade wind.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Catching Up with old videos

As we ease into winter,  and my University responsabilities tail off, I'm starting to dream of both Calypso, our place in the Bahamas, and also summer at the Baiting Hollow Sanctuary. Over the next few weeks, before we actually arrive back at Calypso (there have been delays and there might be more), I'll be posting various videos from earlier in 2014. I'm going to start by posting here some videos that I had already uploaded to Youtube, but had not included in the blog. First I made a list of all  the vids I posted since may 20, just before we returned from Eleuthera to Long Island. The earliest vids were filmed using an inferior camera (750 p only, and some dust on the lens). So I'll start with some Calypso garden scenes (no hummers) I filmed just before returning to the US.

The first video (above) shows a scene in the back garden, towards one of the lawns. There are various palms, the red leaves are ti plants (colorful tropicals,  Cordyline fruticosa), and on the right you see the large banana-like leaves of Heliconias.

Here (above) you see the superb trunk of a royal palm (Roystonea regia), with the red flowers of hibiscus waving in the background.

Again more palms (foxtail palm, Wodyetia bifurcata, on the left, and a sabal palmetto on the right, with the pink flowers of Pandora vine in the foreground.

Finally, here's me frolicking in the ocean near Calypso.
I hope you feel a bit warmer after viewing these movies!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Late hummer has left

The late hummer at the sanctuary was last seen, only very briefly, on saturday Nov 8. I did not see him on sunday nov 9. Nov 10 - 16 we were in Maine and I have not seen him since our return. The recent deep freeze has killed almost of the remaining flowers, and I do not expect to see any more rubythroats until april 2015. However, a vagrant rufous hummingbird is always a possibility (see my posts at this blog for february 2013).
The above image is by Bob Immoor (summer 2013). The flower is Salvia uliginosa (Bog Sage).

Saturday, November 8, 2014

He's still here!

My late hummer (or possibly another even more recent  arrival) is still here! Yesterday afternoon I only had a short time before dark, the conditions were bad, and I did not see him. But this morning, though busy, I clearly spotted him in the flower bed overlooking the Sound in front of the deck at the front cabin "Seagull Lodge". He was visiting the rosebud salvias there. I'll try to get video, though I've lots of other things to do too.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Update on the sanctuary's late hummingbird

After seeing our unexpected, very late, hummer several times on tuesday, I saw him only once, briefly but unmistakeably, at about noon on wed, after which I had to go to Stony Brook (work and home). I got back here about 4.15 this afternoon, but I did not observe the hummer, and there's a cold wind from the north. I'll be surprised if I see him over the weekend - he's probably safely on his way south. But it was a thrill to see him on tuesday, and to get some video (see my last post). Here's an older photo, by Jimmy Chiu. The hummer's feeding at cardinal flower, which have now largely retreated into the ground.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Very Late Hummer in Baiting Hollow!

I just got back to the sanctuary in Baiting Hollow a few minutes ago (I'm in the process of transporting tropical plants back to Stony Brook ahead of the looming cold weather) and a few seconds ago I saw a hummingbird! I've not seen one for several weeks, and certainly did not expect to see obe again this year. But as soon as I saw the ummistakeable movement in a flower bed near the front cabin, I knew it was a hummer. He/she was feeding on the flowers of rosebud sage (Salvia involucrata), which is still in full flower. I observed him from about 25 feet away for a full minute, and then he sped off down into the western valley - very typical behavior. I took down all my feeders a couple of weeks ago, but there are still lots of flowers everywhere - some more spectacular than all season. I'll put a few feeders back up again, and hopefully he will be back - probably until the next cold front comes through, on thursday. I'll try to get video too and will report back soon. I'm here overnight, busy chopping wood to keep warm (the woodstove gobbles up fuel, especially when the wind is whistling thorugh the cracks (actually, gaps) in the cabin wall and floor.

UPDATE: here are some videos of this very late ruby throat. The first one shows him/her feeding at Salvia "Waverley" - a small white flower. It starts out badly out of focus but I focus better at the end (I'm a little out of practice!).

The second video is better - he's feeding at Rosebud sage, Salvia involucrata.

In the third video he's feeding at pineapple sage (between the 2 feeders, which I just put up). Pineapple sage is a very late bloomer, so they are well matched.

In the last video, he's approaching pineapple sage, and I have him closer up.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


I guess all of us on Long Island are now in the same boat: hummerless! (at least until april). I returned to the sanctuary yesterday afternoon and spent several hours outside, but did not see any hummingbirds. Today has of course been wet but despite frequent glances at the flowers on the deck I've seen no action.
So I will have to make do with the videos I stockpiled over the summer. Here's one, in 4X slo-mo, with the bird feeding at rosebud salvia "Bethelli", which has now reached the peak of its height and bloom in the garden.