A blog that provides up-to-date information about the world's leading (according to Google) hummingbird sanctuary, on high bluffs overlooking Long Island Sound, Riverhead, New York. The sanctuary is private and not open to the general public. Paul's Email: paul.adams%stonybrook.edu. We sometimes livestream from the sanctuary, at youtube.com/channel/UCvTj9WdD0zItyBLI6m-U9Og/live
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 (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu).
Friday, August 31, 2012
Open today fri am/pm; garage sales; monarchs
We will be open today 3-5.30. However, hummer activity is quite low. Yesterday afternoon was fairly busy but I think everyone saw quite a bit of hummingbird activity. I enjoyed seeing old friends, and new friends bearing small gifts. Most needed are old but sturdy garden seats (plastic is fine). If you happen to spot something at a garage sale at a low price, think of us. You are welcome to drop such items off in the back (main) parking lot, even when we are not open - we will find them!
Parking is of course very limited, and located quite far from the main viewing areas; if any member of your party has great difficulty walking, please email me (see lihummer.org) and I will authorize you to park in the much closer accessory ("by permission only") lot.
I'm afraid today's picture (by Michelle Neacy) is another insect one (don't worry, plenty more hummer images to come), but I could not resist these graceful flowers decorated with a monarch. Monarchs are apparently (according to Wikipedia) the only butterfly that makes a bird-like southern/northern migration, but unlike birds this is done over several generations. The final destination of the eastern monarchs is a small area of pine-oak forest just 60 miles north of Mexico City! - about the same distance from Baiting Hollow to NY City.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Open Today (thur) am/pm; hummingbird moths
We are open today 9.30-12.30 and 3-5.30. We always close 12.30-3. Yesterday started with a strong northwest wind and almost no hummingbird activity, but later in the morning activity picked up again. The wind has greatly dropped but is now more in the north (and it is rather chilly), so I expect low activity to start with. Perhaps it will again improves as the day advances. I expect tomorrow to be a good day, especially in the afternoon.
The photo, by Doug MacLean, shows a "hummingbird moth", also known as a common clearwing moth, Hemaris thysbe (see this Mass Audubon article: hummingbird moth; I thank John Turner for the definitive identification). It looks like a cross between a bee and a hummingbird (but is completely different from the bee hummingbird, the world's smallest bird). But there are various other types of hummingbird moth, such as the sphinx hummingbird moth (or whitelined sphinx), which looks quite different, but also has hummingbird-like behavior. I mostly see the clearwing moth during the day, and the sphinx moth at dusk. Some people tell me they get hummingbirds, but only after sunset. I have to tell them these are moths not hummers (which disappear at sunset). Others tell me they see only "very tiny" hummingbirds during the day, but they may be seeing moths instead.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
open today (wed) 9.30-12.30 only; adult male
We will be open this morning 9.30-12.30 but I expect rather low levels of hummingbird activity because the wind is now squarely in the north and quite strong, so most birds will be moving southwards. We will probably be open thursday both am and pm, but pm will probably be better as the wind moves back to the west and then southwest. We are always closed 12.30 - 3 pm, and if you tell your friends about us please make that fact clear, and insist that they go to the blog for info before coming out -yesterday someone rudely interrupted my vital nap!
It's possible we will be open on a few sporadic occasions after Sept 4, but don't count on it.
The photo, by Fung Wan Kwong, shows an adult male. He has lost some throat feathers, and is probably molting (they acquire a new set each year, mostly during their tropical winter) but he might also have suffered wear after a summer of combat.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Open today (tues) and tomorrow am; golden crown
We will be open today from 9.30-12.30 and 3 to 5.30 and tomorrow (morning only, from 9.30 - 12.30). However, there is now a srong northwest wind (later shifting north) which triggers southward departure, and viewing conditions are not favorable. I expect new birds to gradually arrive in the north, so thur may be better (and we will probably open for a few more days before our definitive closure for the season).
The photo is by Chris Corradino (christography.com). Note the little patch of golden pollen on the bird's forehead. Hummingbirds are very efficient pollinators, and for some plants (such as Cardinal Flower) the main one.
Monday, August 27, 2012
closed today (monday); probably open tues pm.
We are closed today and tomorrow morning, but we hope to open tuesday afternoon - check this blog for confirmation.
Yesterday the northwest wind brought a quiet morning, but activity started to pick up later in the afternoon. We were honored, and pleasantly surprised, to see John Turner and his family here. John is a pre-eminent Long Island naturalist, who wrote "The Other Island", perhaps the best guide to the natural communities and rhythms of our beautiful but abused island. He also runs alulatrips.com, which organizes birding outings, mostly on Long Island. I was excited to learn that he is writing a new guide to natural Long Island, which should fill the urgent need for a comprehensive survey of the remaining fragmented and scattered (but often magnificent) natural places on the Island. There is no better way to recharge one's batteries and refresh the soul than immersion in Nature, where everything is spontaneous, harmonious, beautiful and......quiet.
The image, showing a hummingbird at bog sage, Salvia uliginosa, is by Charleen Turner.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Open today (sunday) am/pm; few hummers, no bell; heli rally
We will be open both 9.30-12.30 and 3-5.30 today sunday. However, hummingbird activity is low, because the wind is strongly in the north east, triggering southward departure. Do not ring the bell today. Please wear sensible shoes, suitable for steep trails and rough ground. You enter the property AT YOUR OWN RISK. Children are welcome and encouraged, but please watch them closely.
Directions etc can be found to the right of this post. There are 2 main viewing areas at the sanctuary, the Upper and Lower gardens. The latter is accessed by a steep narrow path, and has many steep trails; if you have any difficulty walking (or inappropriate shoes) please take the main driveway approach to the viewing gardens, and stay in the upper garden. But if you are secure on your feet cross the yellow minibridge and follow the Woodland Path (where you might also say hummingbirds). Doing this minimizes impact on neighbors and qualifies you to descend to the lower gardens, which are less crowded. Note that hummers can be seen equally well in both gardens. Those who have great difficulty walking can request permission to park in our "handicap" area, much closer to the viewing gardens.
Reminder: if you tell your friends about us, make sure that they consult the blog before coming out.
There's an antinoise rally at East Hampton airport this afternoon (4.30-6.30) - of course those who live off the south fork would have to helicopter in, which rather defeats the purpose of the rally. I attended an EH airport noise meeting in Southampton on thursday evening, and outward traffic was still backed up all the way to Bridgehampton even at 7 pm. Like all the previous meetings, lots of angry residents and lots of polite, verbose but totally ineffective (and mostly clueless) politicians. See quietskiescoalition.org for more info on this important issue so vital to the continued operation of the sanctuary.
Today's photo is by Greg Olanoff. It shows a hummingbird dining at rosebud salvia (S. involucrata), a great favorite, with bog sage and Long Island Sound in the background.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Open today (sat) but only newbies; bell, shoes and binoculars
We will be open today both 9.30-12.30 and 3-5.30 BUT ONLY TO THOSE WHO HAVE NOT YET VISITED THIS SEASON (of your group the majority should be "newbies"). For directions, info etc see to the right of this post. Tomorrow we will probably open to those who have never ever visited. Our parking is very limited, so please if the lot is full please return later - you could explore the new nature preserve at the Sound Ave end of Terry Farm Rd, or the stores at Baiting Hollow Commons (500 feet from the bottom of Terry Farm) or the nearby farmstands, vineyards etc.
Please do not ring the bell today. And remember to wear sensible shoes - all our paths are steep and narrow, and safety is paramount. While hummingbirds can come very close and you do not need binoculars, a compact pair is quite useful for observing their interesting behavior while perched in a tree.
The photo, by Patrice Ellert, shows a hummer vainly exploring the colored bracts of a rosebud salvia. They have to learn to feed from flowers, since the shapes are very variable and often confusing, and young hummers spend a lot of time exploring and testing.
Friday, August 24, 2012
Open today fri am/pm; painted ladies
We are open today friday 9.30-12.30 and 3-5.30. We will be open tomorrow (and probably sunday) but only to "newbies" - those that have not yet visited this year. We will also open tues pm and probably thur and fri next week. But we are starting to wind down (though there are still plenty of hummingbirds around). Check this blog for details.
Today's photo, by Michelle Neacy, shows a butterfly for a change - the "painted lady", Vanessa cardui, on butterfly bush (Buddleia). This is the "regular" painted lady, which can be found worldwide. At first glance they look like half-size monarchs. There is also an American painted lady, V. virginiensis. The most obvious difference is on the paler "underneath" or ventral, wing: the former has 4 small eyespots, the latter 2 large ones. The American is found in small but fairly constant numbers but the "regular" occurrs more irregularly, and this year they are in great abundance everywhere (including here and almost certainly your yard).
We also get many other butterflies, drawn by the nectiferous plants that attract hummers. However, butterflies very rarely go to sugar-water feeders, and hummers don't much visit plants that butterflies love, even butterfly bush itself. I see that on my plant rating page on the lihummer.org website I give butterfly bush 2 stars (out of a possible 5) but now I would tend to downrate it to 1 star. The only thing that gets 5 stars is the "bottomless" plastic feeder (as long as it's kept clear, insect-free and full of fresh "nectar").
Amongst the spectacular large butterflies you will see here are momarchs, the very similar viceroys, and the tiger, spicebush and black swallowtails (which include the largest of all butterflies). I will feature these in later posts.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Open today am/pm; article about us; heli meeting; coral honeysuckle,
We will be open today both 9.30 to 12.30 and 3 to 5.30. We will almost certainly open tomorrow, and also at the weekend (though possibly only to newbies). We will be closed monday next week, probably open tues pm, closed wed, and probably open thur, fri and very early september. We will then be open less and less, and probably not at all after mid september.
There's a nice, and nicely written, blog article about us at an interesting local gardening blog here; see also our link list to the right.
Many of you have noticed the noisy helicopter traffic here, mostly commuting from Manhattan to East Hampton. It makes normal outdoor conversation difficult or impossible, let alone enjoyment of the subtle sounds of the birds. A study by East Hampton a few years back revealed the obvious: that the noise annoyance could easily be limited to just a few people (mostly those causing the noise) by routing traffic down the Atlantic Ocean and into the airport via Georgica Pond and then over industrial land. Instead the traffic was routed down the North Shore and then over the North Fork and Southampton, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. There will be an IMPORTANT MEETING tonight at 7 with congressman Tim Bishop at the Bridgehampton Community Center. It would be great if any of you can go to express your annoyance with these incredibly arrogant insensitive fat cats roaring over our heads.
Today's picture, by Richard Matteson, shows a hummingbird at coral honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens, a 3-star hummer native northeastern perennial plant. It is blooming when hummers arrive on may 1, and keeps blooming throughout their season. It's a hummingbird garden MUST.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Open today wed am and pm; firespike in slo mo
We are open today (wed) 9.30-12.30 and 3-5.30. We will be open tomorrow also, am and pm. Looks like a beautiful day - why not combine your visit with one to the new Butterfly Exhibit next to the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead? It's only 5 minutes away. Let us know who has more butterflies! -and tell them the Hummingbird Sanctuary sent you.
I show another Linda Sullivan photo of a hummer at firespike (Odontonema strictum), And here is a link to a youtube slo mo video that a visitor made of a hummer at this same firespike:
I'll post more slo-mo video links soon.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Open today tuesday am,pm; open tomorrow am
We are open today aug 21 9.30-12.30 and 3-5.30. We will be open tomorrow morning, and probably also in the afternoon (check the blog).
A reminder about some simple rules:
1. Park only in the marked lot (at the end of Terry Farm Rd) only; squeeze in but don't block others. If it's full, please return later.
2. If you are a good walker with good shoes, enter via the yellow minibridge and woodland path; if not take the main driveway (to the left of the yellow bridge).
3. Only if your party has never visited before ring the bell (mounted at the top of a high wood post) clearly before you proceed.
4. Remain in the upper garden unless you took the woodland path, and take great care on all paths, lawns and decks.
The picture is by Grace Scalzo.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Open most of this week; cardinal flower
We hope to open most of this week - check the blog for details and confirmation. We will then gradually wind down.
We will be open this monday afternoon, 3-5.30 only, to all-comers. Once again, we appreciate it if you recommend us to your friends but please direct them to this blog (e.g. via lihummer.org) for all info. Almost everyone respects our times and rules, but there are a (very) few exceptions, and as a 1-man, private, free operation some limits are essential.
The recent photo, by Ken Eddy, shows a hummer at cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis). This is a magnificent Long Island native perennial that grows naturally along stream banks, pond edges etc. Wherever it grows naturally there are hummingbirds around, because they are the main pollinator. The anther deposits a dab of pollen on the bird's forehead as the hummer inserts his bill, and you will often see birds at the sanctuary with a golden head smudge.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Open today (sun) 3-5.30 but only newbies; tongue
We are open this sunday afternoon (3-5.30) BUT ONLY TO THOSE THAT HAVE NOT YET VISITED THIS YEAR: no repeat visitors please. This is because parking is very limited (and rather muddy at the moment). If you want to re-visit please try to come during the week. We will be open most of next week (see blog for details), and then will gradually start winding down the season.
IF YOU DO VISIT, AND YOU TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT US, PLEASE ENSURE THAT they go to the blog (e.g. via lihummer.org) to get opening info etc. DO NOT try to describe where we are and when we are open: ONLY THE BLOG lists open times. Thanks!
The recent photo, by Charleen Turner, shows the hummer tongue - the white thread protruding from the tip of the beak. The tongue is actually twice as long as the bill itself. It's not a tube (like a straw) and the hummer laps up the nectar like a cat. The nectar then flows up the tongue by capillary action, like a wick.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Open This Sat Afternoon after all! Dancing Hummer
It looks as though the rain clouds are moving east and though it will be a bit wet the hummers are active and we will be open this afternoon after all! Please be extra careful on slippery decks, paths and slopes. If it rains you can shelter under the front porch or in the front cabin.
We will definitely be closed sunday am, and likely open sunday pm (but check this blog).
The picture, of a dancing hummer feeding at bog sage (Salvia uliginosa), is a very recent one by Greg Olanoff.
Closed today (sat); blood drop
We are closed today: while the hummingbirds are quite active in the lighter rain periods, the viewing conditions are not ideal and I doubt that many will want to make the trek here and huddle in inadequate shelter. We will be closed sunday morning but may open sunday afternoon.
The photo, by Charleen Turner, shows a young male hummer feeding at rosebud salvia, with bog sage in the background (the blue flowers). Look carefully (click on the image) and you will see the "drop of blood" - a single red gorget feather dead center at the base of the throat.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Open today fri am and pm; Agastache; sunset too!
We are open today am (9.30-12.30) and pm (3-5.30). We WILL also open for sunset, from 7 to 8 only. We are closed 12.30-3 and 5.30-7.
The photo, by Mike Ronan, shows a hummingbird at Licorice Mint, Agastache rupestris. This is a wonderful perennial agastache (Hyssop) that hummers love and also has the enjoyable scent suggested by its name. It's located in the galvanized tub at the northeast corner of the front (soundfront) deck. Even on this tub and exposed position it survived the admittedly mild window. Brush your hand against the delicate silvery foliage and then sniff!
The commonest perennial agastache, A. foeniculum, Anise Hyssop, with dull violet-blue flowers, is easier to grow but not visited by hummers. You will see them dotted around the sanctuary, as they self-seed.
For the sunset hour, you may bring a bottle of wine but only on condition it be freely shared with all those present - plastic cups provided. No food please!
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Open Tomorrow (fri) am and pm; kama sutra
We'll be open tomorrow (fri) both 9.30-12.30 and 3-5.30. Here's another rosebud salvia picture, this one by Linda Sullivan. Hummers can approach a flower from all sorts of different angles, and even fly backwards or upside down.
Open Today (thur) am and pm; bract facts
We are open today (thur aug 16) 9.30-12.30 and 3 to 5.30. The weather has "improved", at least for us, but not for hummingbird viewing: yesterday, during cloud and intermittent rain, they were very active, but today, as expected, it seems initially much quieter. The wind has shifted to the northwest, and this triggers early morning departure to the south, on the long annual trek to Central America. I hope that activity will gradually increase as new hummers arrive from the north.
The photo, by Fung Wan Kwong, shows a bird at Salvia involucrata "Bethellii". While this is no more popular than S. guaranitica, it tends to stick up higher and the bird is more visible. These two salvias are the backbone of my garden; I get them from Beds and Borders. The botanical name "involucrata" comes from the word "involucre", which is the set of "bracts" (modified leaves) that encase the base of the petals. Here the bracts are a slightly darker pink than the petals themselves, but on many flowers they are green A spectacular example of bracts is the flower of Bougainvillea, shown in the following image, taken some years ago at the sanctuary by Hal Lindstrom. The true flower is the white structure the hummer is probing. Note however that bougainvillea is not a good hummer plant - very little nectar!
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Closed this wed morning; open pm
We are closed this morning (wed aug 15) but will be open this afternoon from 3 to 5.30.
We will probably be open tomorrow both am and pm. Remember we are always closed for lunch (12.30 - 3): for directions and lunch suggestions click here.
The image is by Jimmy Chiu, and shows a hummer feeding at purple porterweed (Stachytarpheta franzii). Porterweed is tropical and comes is purple, pink (S. mutabilis) and blue species. Both purple and pink are excellent hummingbird magnets, with the pink being perhaps the best. Though the flowers are open and rather small, they seem to be loaded with nectar. However they can be difficult to find!
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Open this morning (tues aug 14 9.30-12.30); gorgeous gorgets
We are open this tuesday morning (9.30-12.30) but not this afternoon. We will probably be open both am and pm on wednesday but please check the blog for confirmation.
On sunday morning a group of photographers from "Nature and Wildlife Photographers of Long Island" (NWPLI) came for their second visit this year. After a quiet start hummers became active and I think everyone got good pictures, some of which I will be posting in the next few days. I start with this nice full-frontal image of an adult male, taken by Laura Eppig. You can see the characteristic brilliant red throat "gorget", and the forked tail, and the tiny feet, clinging to what looks like a rope but is just a piece of string. The gorget is made up of numerous tiny feathers, which the male can protrude like a ruff. The gorget's color is generated by iridescence not pigment, and therefore only looks red from the front. From the side it looks black. However, though the gorget is small, it can generate a highly visible red flash from a distance as the male turns in sunlight. The male turns his gorget towards the female he is courting as he approaches the nadir of his U mating dance (see my post of July 11); the female judges the perfection of this dance. Note that juvenile (i.e. hatch-year) males will only acquire their full gorget on their central american wintering grounds, though some already have one or more individual gorget feathers. One can sometimes use the distinctive pattern of these, which look like drops of blood, to identify particular individuals.
The NWPLI photographers are highly skilled and if you are interested in bird photography you should consider joining this group. They have been coming to the sanctuary for at least 8 years. However, we normally allow tripods only on scheduled private group visits, not on public open days.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Open this afternoon (monday); Purple Majesty
We will be open today (i.e. monday aug 13) from 3 to 5.30 only. Yesterday afternoon was very busy (apparently the photo I posted on friday appeared in Newsday with a link to the sanctuary - a mixed blessing!) and some people got lost on the way. So I've added a permanent "Directions" tab to the blog (just to the right of this post), which includes a link to a Google map. I will gradually add tabs with useful general information, though lihummer.org will remain the main source.
We will probably open tuesday am but NOT pm, but please check the blog.
The image, by David Maclean, shows a hummer feeding at salvia "Purple Majesty". This is a cross between S. guaranitica and S gesneraeflora, the latter having red flowers. It can grow to 6 feet and is a hummer magnet, but unfortunately in my garden it tends to develop a local stem weakness and suddenly buckles over.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Open this afternoon (sunday) 3-5.30; cardinal vine
We will be open this sunday afternoon from 3 to 5.30. We will also be open tomorrow (monday aug 13) afternoon only and tuesday morning.
The photo, by Pat Seidler, shows a hummer at cardinal vine (Ipomoea multifida). It's a type of morning glory, though the flowers are small, red and tubular (always a good sign). Hummingbirds love it (3 star rating, out of a maximum of 4 stars) and though strictly annual it's very easy to grow from seed, which forms profusely (and which I'm happy to give you if you bring a small empty glassine envelope). It easily climbs 15 feet in 2 months! Cypress vine (I. quamoclit) is very similar except with much finer, very delicate, leaves. I grow these intermingled with the much showier pink mandevilla ("Alice Dupont"), which has no nectar. In general the showier the flower the less the nectar.
Reminder: directions, instructions, and info (including detailed plant info with ratings) is at lihummer.org
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Open this afternoon (saturday); young male
We will be open this afternoon (saturday) 3-5.30 and probably tomorrow afternoon (check the blog) but NOT this morning or sunday morning. Hummingbird activity is still rather low, though there are several around.
The picture shows a patch of the flowers at the front deck, overlooking the Sound, with a young male approaching rosebud salvia. You can see a small dark spot just below the neck, which is an early feather of the future adult male "gorget" (the "ruby-throat" which gives the species, Archilocus colubris, its common name. The gorget, and this single feather, look black from the side but flashes brilliant red (especially in sun) from the front. The photo is by David Micelotta (www.tteod.ifp3.com).
Friday, August 10, 2012
Closed Today (friday); Salvia uliginosa
Hummer activity is low again this morning and the weather unsettled so we will not open today. But we may open saturday afternoon if there are birds around - please check this blog.
Today's image, by Charleen Turner, again shows bog sage, Salvia uliginosa. Despite the doubly ugly name (uliginosa? bog?) the tall thin pale blue spires of this salvia waving against the backdrop of the sea and murmuring with bees is beautiful even without hummingbirds. For another great shot of this view, see this safe link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/michelles_pixels/2757076680/
And here is the same view in the spring, when the wild cherries are in bloom:
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Open Today (Thur) 9.30-12.30 and 3-5.30; Rosebud Salvia
We are open today (thursday) am (i.e. from 9.30 to 12.30) and pm (3-5.30). Closed 12.30 - 3 so for lunch try the Lobster Roll near the south end of Terry Farm Road, and visit their new Tasting Room.
I've given up predicting activity levels - it seems to vary hour to hour, but there will be hummers around, though you may have to be patient. See lihummer.org for info, directions and instructions.
The image, by Bill Stamatis, shows a hummer feeding at Rosebud Salvia (S. involucrata). In previous posts I have referred to this incorrectly as Rosebay salvia). It's called "rosebud" because of the unusual pink knob at the end of the flower stalk. This gradually opens to release more flowers. It's a wonderful hummingbird plant - as good as Anise Sage (often sold as the cultivar "Black and Blue"). It comes mainly in 2 varieties, "Mulberry Jam", which is shorter than "Bethellii" (which I beleive to be closer to the species). The former flowers earlier, but the hummers like the tall spikes of the latter. One can often observe that a hummer will linger for several second at each individual flower, a sure sign of abundant nectar.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Open tomorrow am and pm; Fuchsia
(UPDATED AND CORRECTED)
We will be open tomorrow (thursday) 9.30-12.30 and 3-5.30 Please remember we are ALWAYS closed for lunch etc (from 12.30 to 3). There are several excellent local restaurants (e.g. Lobster Roll Northside; The Cooperage Inn; Stonewalls; and many in Riverhead or Wading River) and you could also visit the nearby wonderful Calverton Ponds nature preserve or some of the local vineyards and farmstands.
The image, by Rick Mei, shows a hummer at a fuchsia plant, in a hanging basket. I overhastily wrote earlier that this photo showed bleeding heart vine, but of course this has the colors reversed: white outside and red inside
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Open today (tuesday) AFTERNOON ONLY; cardinal flower
It has turned cooler and there is little hummer activity this morning. The inactivity reflects not the coolness (there are hummingbirds in the Andes which remain active in freezing temperatures) but the shift in the wind direction, to the north. This triggers southward migration. But activity might pick up in the afternoon, as the wind shifts to east then south, and we will be OPEN FROM 3 to 5.30.
The photo is by John Heidecker, and shows a bird at cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis. This is a superb native Long Island flower, typically found growing wild along stream banks. It is mainly pollinated by hummingbirds, and wherever you see it growing naturally there are hummers around. It's difficult to grow at the sanctuary because it is very dry here (steep slopes, wind, sand) but we have a few nice specimens. Avoid cultivars and hybrids (mostly with great blue lobelia, L syphilitica) that are not true red with green leaves. These do not have adequate nectar.
Monday, August 6, 2012
OPEN THIS MONDAY AFTERNOON; BOG SAGE
This superb image is by Fung Wan Kwong, from Hong Kong, who travels all over the world photographing birds. It shows a hummer feeding at bog sage, with Long Island Sound in the background. Thanks Mr Fung!
We will be open this afternoon (Monday) 3-5.30, and probably tomorrow. See lihummer.org for directions and important information.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Closed Today; Salvia greggii
We are closed today (private groups are visiting: please contact me, via lihummer.org, if you would like to reserve time for your photography/birding/plant/kid group). I hope to be open monday afternoon, and much of the rest of the week, but please check this blog for confirmation.
The photo, by Mike Chachkes, shows a hummingbird at Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) "Cherry Queen". Actually, it's probably a hybrid between "Furman's Red" S. greggii and S. blepharopylla (you can also see one of these at the sanctuary). Though not really a perennial it is often winter-hardy in a sheltered, well-drained location, and many of mine came back through the mild winter. It starts to bloom when hummers arrive in early may and keeps going till frost. However, it does tend to sprawl. And the flowers are a brilliant red.
There are many variations and cultivars of S. greggii, all excellent hummer plants. However, the brilliant red of Cherry Queen does seem to attract their attention!
Thanks to Mike and to all those who are sending me great pictures taken at the sanctuary.
I hope to post the best of them in the coming days.
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Activity has picked up. Open this afternoon; Pentas
Activity yesterday was disappointing, but nevertheless we will open this (saturday) afternoon (3-5.30 only) as promised. UPDATE: activity was low this morning but has now (4 pm) picked up. We are CLOSED this morning and all sunday. Let's hope activity picks up over the weekend in which case we will open several days next week (see this blog for detail).
The recent photo, by Linda Sullivan, shows a hummer feeding at Star of Egypt (Pentas). This is not the best hummer plant but showy, easy to grow, though strictly annual.
Friday, August 3, 2012
Open This Morning (Fri) BUT NOT THIS AFTERNOON
We are open today (friday) BUT ONLY THIS MORNING (9.30-12.30). CLOSED THIS AFTERNOON - please respect.
We will be open tomorrow, saturday, afternoon, but NOT saturday am or sunday.
The recent photo is by Rick Mei, who came out from Brooklyn.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Closed this afternoon, open tomorrow am; Firespike
We won't open this afternoon because after a good morning activity seems to have dropped.. We will open tomorrow morning and possibly saturday afternoon (closed sat morning and sunday). We will be open most of next week.
The photo, by Linda Sullivan, was taken yesterday, which was a good day. It shows Firespike, Odontonema stricta, an excellent tropical hummer plant. Mixed sun/shade. Lots of nectar in each narrow tube!
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Open Today am and pm; nice adult male pic
We are open today 9.30-12.30 and 3 to 5.30. So far hummer activity is good. I will add to this post later today to report on the situation. The image, by Tom Pfeifer, shows an adult male feeding at Salvia guarantica (anise sage).
First time visitors should study the directions and instructions at lihummer.org.
UPDATE: hummer activity was good this morning. Of course this afternoon could be different. Bear in mind that activity continues, or even increases, during intermittent rain, and there is shelter on the front porch or in the front cabin.
Most likely we will also be open thur and friday.
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