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 (

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Fred Flashes again; what's in bloom at the sanctuary; where to get hummingbird plants.

Here are a couple of recent clips of Fred perching and flashing. I've seen several more mating dances, though none to match the one I filmed a few days ago. Suzy is coming up from the bluff face to feeders near the bluff edge. Fred has a favorite perch at the very top of a dead maple, partly hidden behind the top of an oak that's rapidly unfurling its leaves. From this spot he can survey both the western valley and some of the feeders near the cabins. However the closest I can get is 40 feet away, and even with the 60 X zoom I now have, I cannot film him really close-up - and, as expected, camera shake is an increased problem. In these 2 clips  he was perching closer, though never for long.

There's not much blooming at the moment at the sanctuary: shadbush trees, the sweet-smelling Vibernum carlesii,  bleeding hearts and a few native columbines (Aquilegia canadensis, much more hummer-friendly than the ornamental varieties).  Most of the daffodils have faded, and the lilacs and a large crabapple are just about to flower.

Shadbush (Amelianchier arborea), also known as serviceberry, is quite prolific close to and on the bluff. At this time of year (when the shad run) it's clothed in white. In this movie I zoom out to show the western valley which is rapidly leafing out (already much more than shown here).


Bleeding Heart

Vibernum carlesii (Korean Spice Vibernum). Today I saw Fred very briefly trying the flowers of this plant, but obviously not finding much nectar.

However I recently acquired (from B&G nursery in St James) a large blooming Salvia greggii, which I've placed, in its pot, on the edge of the bluff, and is getting quite a few visits, mostly from Fred. The Aesculus carnea gets lot of bees but so far no hummers.

However, the best place to find good (3 star) hummingbird plants on the island is, appropriately, They are conveniently located in Medford - take exit 63 (intersection with route 83) on the LIE. But they are only open by appointment, starting this coming saturday (may 16). Every plants they feature (with cool photos) is an excellent hummer plant! They also have an interesting collection of hummer-related gear. I'll write more about them in a future post.


  1. Great video. I look forward to seeing a ruby-throat male in person one day. As far as hummingbird plants, just a coral honeysuckle is about to bloom here. Last August I saw white flowered shrubs at the sanctuary. Were they Clethra? The scent was lovely but it might have just been from the butterfly bushes.

    1. My coral honeysuckle is in bud but not blooming yet either - everything tends to be late up near the bluff, and we are getting lots of very cool fog (like right now - I was just at the Long Island Perennial Farm about 1/2 mile away, and it was sunny and warm, but as I returned north it almost looked as though the woods up near the bluffs were clothed in thick smoke.. Coral honeysuckle is
      a wonderful hummer vine, and keeps blooming on and off almost all summer.

  2. I love the video .. and I love that vine we have a small one growing .. but I may look to find a bigger one ... I have two males and one female and I do believe they were doing the mating dance one night while I was watching them. I see the female much less than the males and mostly early morning and then in later evening but then I am not sitting and watching all day I am at work .. I have the nectar right outside my front door so when I am doing work at home I hear the buzz and look over and watch them ... Please keep posting your videos I love them ... the picture is very clear... great shots .. xoxooxxoxoo carolyn

    1. Thanks for the feedback - yes I will try to get more, and better, video.