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 (

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Open Today (Sat) am,pm; tongue; private visits

We are open today (saturday) from 9.30 to 12.30 and 3 to 5.30.  After carefully parking in the sanctuary lot, take the woodland trail over the yellow mini bridge. As always, you MUST BRING COMPLETED WAIVERS. We will then will close for the season. However, there will be some opportunities for private visits at specific pre-arranged times next week, including opportunities for those who have difficulty walking (see below). If you cannot walk safely over steep narrow uneven paths, contact me for special arrangements. Please, newbies only (NO REVISITS) and limit your stay to 1/2 hour if we are busy. But if you park in the Town Sound Ave Preserve lot down on Sound Ave, and hike the half-mile up, you can stay till closing. We should be open the rest of the week but always check the blog before setting out. PLEASE DON'T FORGET TO PRINT YOUR NAME ON THE WAIVER.

Today's photo, by Joe Maggio, shows a perching hummingbird sticking its tongue out. The tongue is a white, thread-like and as long again as the beak. Hummers lap up the nectar with the tip and the nectar then moves by capillarity up grooves along the tongue for swallowing. One sometimes sees perching birds briefly dart out their tongue. Whether this corresponds to "licking their lips" after eating, or to sampling the air or is part of the swallowing process I do not know. Usually after each nectaring they carefully rub their bill against the twig on which they perch, perhaps to remove adhering pollen or insects (see my recent "ring of pollen" post.

The following by appointment slots are available for early sept. ONLY TO NEW VISITORS (i.e. no previous visit this year; past years ok)  WITH WAIVERS. NO VISITING OUTSIDE OF THESE TIMES and then ONLY IF YOU RECEIVE EXPLICIT PERSONAL APPROVAL BY EMAIL FOR YOUR PARTICULAR REQUESTED TIME (print out my email to you and bring please). NOT transferable to other times. YOU MUST STATE IN YOUR REQUEST (title your email "Slot Request") THE NAMES OF all your  accompanying car passengers and  your  license number. INDICATE THOSE WHO HAVE ANY DIFFICULTY WALKING so we can make appropriate arrangements. ALL VISITS SHOULD LAST NO LONGER THAN 1 1/2 hours. AM slots start the trail prompt at 10, pm slots prompt at 3; you should arrive a bit before your slot time. No late-comers.
SLOT TIMES: sept 1 pm, sept 2 am/pm, sept 3 am/pm, sept 4 am, sept 6 pm.
Further slots might be added if this system proves successful. Email me your first 2 slot choices if you want a slot, giving the names and walking ability of all members of your party. Slots that are either full or near empty will be progressively withdrawn.

Almost all the photos at this blog are, naturally, of hummingbirds. But you can see a lot of more general garden views at the sanctuary at this Picasa link.

Because of the evolving situation with the Town and 2 neighbors, I need some good legal advice. In the past, because of similar issues, and at considerable expense, I retained the services of the best local law firm and received much useful advice. However, in order to minimize further expense, it would be wonderful if one of my nice visitors might know of (or even be) a bird-friendly lawyer willing to help the sanctuary survive on a reduced or even pro bono basis. Please email me if you have suggestions!


  1. I'd like to attract more hummers to my yard. Where can I get those small one-port feeders that I saw at the sanctuary? Online I only find bulky ones that need something sturdy to hang from

  2. Irena -I get the mini feeders from Home Depot, Walmart, Lowes etc (typically a dollar each). Bear in mind that these stores only carry summer stuff in the winter and winter stuff in the summer! Also, they tend to disappear quickly. - Paul

  3. OK, thank you! I'll look for them next winter then :)