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, August 10, 2014

Current Nest

Hummingbirds arrive on Long Island late april or early may. The males arrive first, and establish territories on prime sites. The females arrive a week later, and quickly mate, build a nest and lay eggs. Incubation is 2-3 weeks and fledging another 2-3 weeks, so in theory the first brood can appear as early as mid july (which is roughly when we see our first juveniles. However the females can go on to raise 2 further broods, before leaving by the end of september. This means the adult males can stick around until late august, when mating opportunities end (even though adult females are still feeding chicks).
Yesterday an Manorville resident, Dominick Gerace, told me during his visit here that he had a female sitting on nest in his backyard, and he sent me this picture:

The nest is on a twig in an oak tree, about 15 feet off the ground. The outside is well-decorated (and camouflaged) with lichen (see more detail below). Indeed the availability of lichen is one of the main criteria for good breeding sites. Cobweb makes the nest both strong and flexible (to accomodate the growing chicks). The 2 white eggs are the size of peas, at the bottom of the nest. Hopefully I'll be able to report on the progress of this nest. In the meantime, have a look at my blog posts starting around Valentine's Day. This documents, with movies, the trials and successes of a nesting female ("Gumbo") at our winter residence in the Bahamas. It's a different species (the Bahama Woodstar, not the Ruby-Throat), but the size, appearance and behavior are extremely similar.

We still have good availability for appointments for most slots this week - see to the right, under "Visiting Slots". Visiting strictly by appointment only. Here's another image of the current nest:

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