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 25, 2011

Open Today; catching insects

We are open today from 9.30 to 12.30 and 3 to 6. Please see for directions and information, and remember to ring the bell if you have never been here before. As always we are closed 12.30-3, but there are several excellent nearby restaurants.  If you visit a local establishment, please mention that you are visiting the sanctuary.
We plan to open tomorrow from 3 to sunset, but please check this blog for confirmation. Please do not bring any food or drink items tomorrow evening: the point is just to quietly watch red and green flashes, not conviviality.

Hummingbirds drink nectar mainly to power their energy-intensive flight, but they also need protein, which they get from catching small insects. Indeed, most of the mother's activity is devoted to catching insects for the babies in the nest (and shortly thereafter); they are not flying and need few calories. This is one reason why activity is much lower during nesting season (late may-early august). Hummers catch insects by opening their beaks and flying rapidly forwards, pushing the insect into their throats. They do not snap with their beaks or use their tongues. The photo, taken at the sanctuary by Anne Denese,  shows a hummer with open beak ready to lunge forward and engulf the hapless insect.

No comments:

Post a Comment