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 (

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Fred has an imperfect tail; peonies

As you can see in the above recent video, Fred's tail appears to be a bit damaged: one of the 2 points is a tad short and blunted. He's sitting on a string, looking at Long Island Sound, and for intruders.  You can see his brilliant green black, and when he turns his head, the black-looking gorget (2X slo mo). A bit of damage is quite normal, the males lead a tough life, sometimes tussling with intruders, and making the epic migration form Central America earlier than the females, and therefore exposed to worse weather. But an early arrival on the breeding grounds in the eastern US is imperative, so they can capture the best territory, and thus have the best chance of attracting females. The females don't have an easy life either, since they try to raise several broods in quick succession.

The marvellous peonies are starting to bloom at the sanctuary, and of course elsewhere. Although they do not attract hummingbirds, they don't attract deer either, and survive the winter and spring, unlike most other garden plants (this year they even nibbled down my young Nicotiana alata (not for hummers either, but highly fragrant in the evening), which are reputed deer-resistant, and have been here in the past.

So here's a peony blossom, in dappled sunlight. The blue is the background is Salvia guaranitica, a hummer favorite.

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