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, February 10, 2014
This morning, as I was weeding the lawn (a never ending task) I heard the buzz of a nearby Woodstar hummingbird, and then saw it perched and shortly after flying to what seemed to be a nest, in a low-hanging branch of a gumbo-limbo tree. I decided not to look too closely immediately, and retreat, intending to study the situation later at a more convenient time. Later in that morning I took the camera and went back to what I thought was the gumbo-limbo I had observed earlier, and sure enough I spotted an umistakable hummingbird nest, beautifully decorated with green lichen (just like back in Baiting Hollow):
Since the mother seemed to be absent, I could get very close, and even looked inside: empty! I decided that perhaps she was still building it, and waited for about 10 minutes not very close, watching with binoculars. I saw a hummer up on another branch, but she did not approach the nest. After 10 more minutes I decided that it was possible I was mistaken in the tree (there are several gumbo-limbos in this part of the garden). So I looked carefully at the other trees. I quickly saw a second nest, but this one appeared to be even more unoccupied, and even slightly askew. And then in a third tree, actually closer to where I was earlier that morning, I spotted a third nest (the one shown in the first picture). This one was occupied! I decided to note carefully the location, and retreat. Then, after a swim in the ocean with some friends, I returned just as the sunlight was fading, with the camera. She was still patiently on the nest, and I was able to get the top picture in the last rays of the dusk. Now I know where she is I should be able to get many more pictures. She looked exactly like the one I had monitored years ago in Baiting Hollow. Note that this nest is decorated with only a few fragments of green lichen, and is more surrounded by leaves, and also lots of the ripe Gum Elemi berries. These are about the size of a pea, and beloved of many birds, especially the white-crowned pigeon. I hope they do not come to feed from the berries surrounding and hiding her nest!