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 (

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Coralita or Fredino? Mating Dance; visiting arrangements

Activity is starting to pick up at the sanctuary, and there are more than one female/juvenile hummers around. But I don't know whether this additional hummer is a daughter (Coralita?) or a son (Fredino?).

In any case here's one of them feeding at Cuphea "David Verity". Notice the dab of pollen at the base of the bill: what it's really all about!

Here's a recent "mating dance" (though it's not a very sophisticated one, and might be an act of aggression instead). You can only see half of the other pendulum movement, the other half is obscured by the vegetation.

And here's something different: a bee clumsily (and upside down) emerging from a trumpet creeper flower, then trying again. The trumpet creepers are now mostly in full bloom.

Lastly, let me reprint the account I gave in my previous post about this year's visiting arrangements: basically by appointment, at times chosen from specific available "slots". No slots have been posted yet, but some will be soon. Please bear in mind that there will be many opportunities throughout august, though individual available slots will only be posted at rather short notice.

"Alert readers will notice that I've made several changes in the blog (the header is slightly different, and I've added 2 new "gadgets" to the right of this post). This is because I'm having to make some changes to our visiting procedures, based on advice from my lawyer Lynn Ingrao. She feels it's important this summer to keep the number of visitors under strict control. While in the past, with the exception of the immediate aftermath of the notorious Newsday article (see link to right) visitation has been almost always very moderate, with no parking outside my rather small lot, and only a few visitors at a time (indeed, often none), the extra publicity triggered by the lawsuit could lead to increased visitation, out of curiosity rather than, as in the past, a genuine love of hummingbirds.
Basically the new system will involve visiting by appointment only, at least until I'm sure that things are back to normal. This does not mean that you should immediately ask for an appointment! Instead, you have to wait until I determine that we will be open on particular days, albeit only to those who have an appointment.
The procedure is as follows:

(1) I post that we will be open at certain specific "slot" dates/times. These will appear under "visiting slots", immediately to the right of the current post.

(2) You decide that you (and family/friends in the same car) want to visit at one of these slot times, which you specify in an email to me.

(3) I  confirm your appointment by email, and I send you a dated waiver form, plus visiting directions/instructions

(4) You, and all those accompanying you, sign the waiver forms, and come during the appointed period (either am 9.30-12.30 or pm 3-5.30)

(5) If you have to cancel, doing so 24 hours ahead will earn you the right to ask for a substitute posted slot. If you simply do not show up, you cannot visit again this year.

(6) You can re-visit, but you must reapply for an available slot, and a majority of your party must not have visited this year.

I've already had people applying for specific dates, despite the fact that I've not yet posted any slot times! Premature requests like this will be ignored - I simply cannot keep track of random requests, and I cannot be sure yet that we will be open an particular dates/times in august. When the quota for a particular slot time has been reached, i will remove the slot posting: be sure not to apply unless you currently see the slot time as available. Currently no slots have been posted, and no slot requests will be processed.

Basically, you will be asking permission to come at times that are convenient for me.

I wish I could simply allow people to show up at posted times, as in the past, but the new procedure will allow me to control visitation."

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