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 (

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Dates; Chicks have fledged! Eric's blog ; Butterfly Vids; Visiting Procedures

Currently Available Dates (based on today's weather predictions for the coming week):
monday aug 8, am (10-12.30) only
wednesday aug 10, pm only
thur aug 11 pm only
 Many more openings will be posted in subsequent weeks, until sept 15.

Some recent butterfly vids.

and also this from Constantine Abatzides (son of my friend Steve, the greek baker):

Empty Nest

Saturday morning when I last visited the E. Quogue property, and filmed the active hummingbird nest, it was clear that the chicks were near fledging. Indeed Eric (the owner) informed me sunday that one of the chicks was already half out of the nest, and both were flapping their wings a lot. I was hoping that early monday they would still be in the nest, but just before I set off to film again, Eric informed me that the nest was now empty! I decided a filming trip to the nest would be pointless.  I suggested he look carefully in the vicinity of the nest to see if the chicks were close by and being fed by the mother. Indeed later yesterday he wrote to me:

"You were absolutely right. They were both in the vicinity -- one quite near the nest, the other, already a strong flyer, in another Red Cedar a short distance away. And mom was feeding them. The most amusing part was when she came back after the first one or two feedings and the stronger flyer had already moved off somewhere. She went right to the spot where he/she was and then circled around, apparently looking for his missing offspring."

 I suspect today they will all be more widely dispersed, and perhaps impossible to spot, though the mother will continue to feed the chicks for a few days, as they rapidly learn to care for themselves. Then the mother is very unlikely to attempt another nest. Most likely she will now focus on her own need to fatten up in preparation for the arduous migration south ahead.

Now the nest is empty I think I can reveal the identity of the kind, generous and remarkable man who hosted the hummer family on his marvelous property facing Weesuck Creek in East Quogue, across which lies the splendid Nature Conservancy Pine Neck Preserve (where perhaps the mother foraged for food). He is Eric Salzman, a distinguished composer and musical-theater impresario. He was a member of a group of avant-garde composers such as Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio and Peter Maxwell Davies. You can hear a fine example of Eric's work here:

Eric is also well known in the local birding community as an expert birder and specialist in bird calls, especially of rails (as in "thin as rail"). You can also read his excellent nature blog "The View from Weesuck Creek".

One of the joys of operating my "Hummingbird Sanctuary" has been to get to know so many interesting people from all walks of life, all who share an interest in the natural beauties and fleeting quiet of Long Island, once a paradise and now mostly a suburban purgatory (but see this). 

How to Visit


We will be opening 3 1/2 days a week until sept 15. However, the exact future dates we will open have not yet been decided (depends partly on weather). Please do not request an appointment for days other than those announced at this blog (see above). Requests for undefined not-yet-posted dates will be ignored: I simply cannot keep track of your requests, you have to keep track of my available dates as they are posted (typically a few days ahead). If you want a date in, say, mid-august (eg aug 15) please wait until (and if) that date is posted (probably some time around aug 10-12). Taking reservations on a rolling, as available, basis works best for me (e.g. allows for weather, unforeseen circumstances etc), makes it more likely you will actually show for your appointment (no-shows reduce the limited visiting opportunities for others). Email me (  which of the available (i.e. posted) "slots" (dates and times; visits are either 10-12.30 or 3-5) you want to come, mentioning if you have visited before, and the expected number in your one car.  I'll send you an email with directions and instructions, which you should read carefully. If you feel you can conform with these instructions,  I'll then send a confirmation of your appointed visit, with the necessary liability waiver form, which you must sign and bring with you.
Please don't ask for a future date, or ask me to pick a date - it just gets too complicated. Once the quota for each "slot" is filled, I'll immediately remove the posting - so, just before you email me, check for the current available dates/times. This is the system I used the last 2 years, and once you get the hang of it, it's a cinch: just wait for the date/time (am/pm)  you want then email me. If the currently posted dates do not suit you, please wait for suitable dates to be posted - plenty more to come.

The only exception is for my personal friends, who, unlike the general public, are not subject to the quotas imposed by the recent lawsuit settlement (of which I'll be writing more soon). 

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