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 (

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Coral Bathing; Where have my hummers gone?

Hummingbirds love the fine spray from a garden hose, especially in dry weather. If they spot the cloud of fresh moisture, they will bathe themselves in the wet leaves, especially those near the periphery of the spray, where the droplets are fewer and less heavy. They usually choose small cup-shaped leaves that contain a tiny puddle of water. Here's our resident female hummingbird Coral bathing in these droplets. Filmed at normal speed (I'll show some slo-mo footage tomorrow).
Many of you are probably wondering right now where the hummingbirds that arrive in may or early june have gone. Of course some were in migration and have moved further north, but others are still here, but feeding rather infrequently, and so less visible. In particular the females are all busy with their nests - either sitting on the eggs, or catching insect for their young (see my posts earlier this year from Eleuthera, about Gumbo, a nesting female Bahama Woodstar I followed and filmed).

The adult male hummers are not involved in nesting or chick-rearing, but they are busy patrolling their territory, and until later this month there are few intruders, and not much need for chasing, or for energy-providing nectar.

It's the same here at the sanctuary: I'm only occasionally and very briefly seeing Fred and Coral, but I know they are still here because I spot them every day. While I saw several mating dances in early june, I've not seen any in the last few weeks.

The blue flowers are Salvia guaranitica, the pink S. involucrata "Mulberry Jam" and the white foreground flowers Daphne transatlantica. The latter is not a hummingbird plant, but a fragrant deer-resistant perennial.

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