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).
Monday, September 2, 2013
CLOSED for the season; visiting by appointment only; the hummingbird family
We are now closed until august 2014. However, there are still a few opportunities to visit by private appointment (e.g. this afternoon, tues both am and pm, and friday afternoon). For details see below.
We have hardly seen any sun at the sanctuary for a week, and everything (including me) is a bit soggy. Hummingbirds are still hanging in there, and I'm still going through a jug of nectar every 2 days. After 2 lectures last week the new semester really gets underway on wednesday, so I'm catching up with some garden chores.
Today's photo, by Robin Fishman, shows a rather skinny, long-necked, hummer feeding at rosebud salvia while clinging to a flower stalk. Most of the other hummers here are rather plump, and waiting for an improvement in the weather, and a nice tail wind, to go further south. Hummers try to perch when feeding whenever possible, though usually they have to hover. Of course the ability to hover is the key to their success, because it enables them to compete with insects for the nectar provided by so many flowering plants. This novel (for birds) ability allowed the hummingbirds to diversify into one of the largest avian families, with over 340 species, exclusively in the New World. Some Old World species do nectar (e.g. sunbirds), but much less efficiently.
A few slots are available for visits by appointment. ONLY 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 car license plate 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 (but only start the trail on time; I will greet you in the parking lot). It can be difficult to find us so give yourself plenty of time. No late-comers please.
AVAILABLE SLOT TIMES: monday sept 2 pm only, tuesday sept 3 am/pm, friday sept 6 pm only. Email me your first 2 slot choices if you want a slot, giving the names and walking ability of all members of your party. Thanks.