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, March 8, 2016

Mme W's eggs have hatched!

At the very beginning of the clip Mme W arrives at the nest and perches on the edge. This was an immediate cue that she would be feeding the newly-hatched babies - previously she would not land on the edge but directly on the nest interior. Indeed, she immediately starts feeding them, probing delicately into their tiny open mouths. Then she settles down onto them. Later in the clip I zoom out to show the nest branch, and then zoom out even more to show more of the gumbo limbo tree (under which I'm standing) with behind it a large silver-top palmetto, and behind that the house we call "SeaStar", which is quite close to the nest. You are looking at the back of "SeaStar"; the front faces the ocean (you can hear the waves on the soundtrack), towards the north. "SeaStar" is not the main house here (it only has one bedroom), which is called "WoodStar" (in honor of the Woodstar hummingbird). We usually live in WoodStar, but sometimes, during the visits of family and friends, we move either to "SeaStar" or to "MorningStar" (the house closest to the ocean, and also the smallest of the 3 houses at Calypso). Each has its own character (and defects!). You can see flowering red bougainvillea climbing up an arbor which runs along the back of SeaStar, and also a large clump of firecracker, a hummingbird favorite. You can also see the top edge of a south-facing wicker chair, which I also use for viewing the nest. Then at the end I zoom back in, to show the nest again. There's a strong northeast wind today, but "SeaStar" shelters the nest from this wind.
We have friends from England staying in MorningStar, and this afternoon I saw them near the nest. They had been observing Mme since they arrived several days ago. But now they worriedly told me that the nest was gone! I was appalled - surely not another disaster had befallen Mme W!
But then I realized that they were looking at the wrong branch - the nest is so inconspicuous that they could not spot it, despite the fact they had previously observed it on several occasions.
Unfortunately the video shows Mme W's back, which partly obscures the feeding process. I'll try to get a better film tomorrow.

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