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, February 15, 2015

Valentine's Day at Sky Beach

Valentine's Day lunch and fun with the family of our eldest son, who are visiting (or should that be escaping) from Maine), at Sky Beach, just north of Calypso. Here's the love of my life on the beach there, pointing out my son and his son frolicking in the waves.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Smaller waves at Calypso

The Atlantic waves on our beach have diminished but are still impressive. Here's a vid from yesterday evening showing our beach, starting with a close-up of Halcyon Point about a quarter mile east. You can see the waves have brought a significant amount of seaweed (and of course some plastic - see this recent NYT article about this growing problem), and I spent an hour collecting and bagging it (the plastic!). Fortunately the seaweed came up quite high because of the big waves, and once it's dry I (or rather my gardener Kevin) will gather it and use it as mulch on planting beds.

Here's one looking down at the beach from our low bluff.

and another

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Big waves at Calypso

There have been big waves on the Atlantic Ocean at Calypso for 2 days. Here's a video of them crashing against 2 islands that lie offshore (Little Diamond Cay and, behind it the taller (50 foot) Great Diamond Cay).  These islands are about a half mile to our southeast.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Abandoned Nest

Here are some videos of the abandoned hummingbird nest I mentioned a few days ago. The first shows the nest covered by a Bahamian quarter (same size as a US quarter). The second shows the nest with the lid removed and a finger for size comparison.

Friday, February 6, 2015

White Bird of Paradise

Here's a recent video showing a Bahama Woodstar hummingbird feeding at a blossom of the White Bird of Paradise, Strelitzia nicolai, in the garden at Calypso. The strelitzias are from South Africa, where sunbirds feed on the nectar. There are no hummingbirds outside the New World, and in the Old World other groups of birds exploit nectar, albeit rather more clumsily.
My white birds of paradise are old and some now exceed 8 feet. These plants are in the ginger family, and are not close relatives of bananas, which they resemble.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hummingbird feeding at Pink (or Red) Powderpuff

Shot at Calypso Garden (Eleuthera), jan 31 2015. The pink powderpuff, Calliandra hematocephala, is a hummingbird favorite, which I have grown (but could not successfully over-winter even inside) at the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary. Some also refer to the far more hardy Mimosa, Julibrissin albizzii, which grows outdoors on Long Island, as powderpuff. This is also a hummer favorite but I think given the choice they prefer the true powderpuff.
I found a hummer nest today, but it looks abandoned. It has a rather cold egg inside, plus the fragments of a second egg. I'll keep an eye on it tomorrow and report back.