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 (

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Open today 9.30-12.30 and 3-6; gorgeous gorgets

We will be open today 9.30-12.30 and 3 to 6. We are closed 12.30-3 but there are lunch recommendations for nearby restaurants, and directions and other info, at First time visitors should always look at the instructions there, and ring the bell on arrival! If you eat at a local restaurant, please mention that you are there to see hummingbirds!
The image, taken by Melissa Hahn yesterday, shows an adult male at a "Little Beginner" feeder. You can see his full brilliant ruby-red throat "gorget", made up of dozens of tiny, circular feathers. You can also see his fat, migration-ready, belly. Generally the adult males are the first to leave: once the females become unreceptive because they cannot raise new babies in the time remaining, there is no point in sticking around, and by leaving early they migrate in more favorable conditions.
Viewed from most angles the gorget actually appears black: the color is based on iridescence not pigment, and is best seen from the front and slightly below (the angle seen by the interested female at the base of the "mating dance", of which more later).
Young male hummers often have a few gorget feathers, and so one can still see the "red flash", but they do not have a full gorget nor a forked tail.

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