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 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 (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Monsieur 2Z - the putative Dad; LaLa update


This handsome fellow, an adult male Bahama Woodstar, is hanging out quite close to the nest I'm monitoring. Note the purple, rather than red, gorget in this species (Calliphlox evelynae; the genus name means "beautiful flame" and I presume Evelyn was the first describer*; there are 4 other Woodstars in this genus). Photo by my son Jamie Adams - check out his birding blog http://ncbigyear2014.blogspot.com - he'll soon be posting a selection of his Eleuthera sightings.
Because hummingbirds are highly territorial, I suspect this is the father of the eggs than Mme W is incubating in her recently-completed nest. I therefore name him Monsieur 2Z, because male birds have 2 Z chromosomes. Other suggested names for Mme W are Mrs Bethel (in honor of Rita Bethel, a Bahamian friend), Thumbelina (a fairy-tail character) and Gumbette (because the nest is again in a Gumbo-Limbo tree). I'm currently favoring Mme W, primarily because it's very short and teaches an interesting biology lesson (after all, I am a biology professor). However I'm still open to other suggestions!
Note that Bahama Woodstars are very small - indeed slightly smaller than ruby-throats.
* Actually it seems this name was bestowed by the 19th century hummingbird expert Jules Bourcier; I suspect that Evelyn came from the 17th century naturalist diarist (and rival of Samuel Pepys) John Evelyn.

My friend Donna DeSousa went out to check on LaLa yesterday (sunday). LaLa is still very active and has drained 2 of the 4 feeders; Donna very kindly refilled those feeders. Because of the warm weather ants had invaded a third feeder and she set up an ant-trap. Can we keep LaLa happy? I suspect that as the days start to lengthen again, and Alaska re-warms, she might try an early trip back to her western breeding grounds. 

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