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, May 21, 2017

Fred and Coralita - mating dance

Yesterday (saturday) evening I sat near the bluff-edge feeder where I had often seen a female hummingbird. However, when she arrived she actually visited the large coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens, an excellent native north-eastern  American vine) which climbs up the northeastern corner of the front cabin. Because of her liking for this vine, I am calling her Coralita. Shortly after I saw Fred, the resident male hummingbird, visiting this feeder repeatedly, and perching in the vicinity, perhaps hoping for a date (or more) with Coralita. One of the perches was part way down the bluff itself, and here is a long video of him preening, bill-cleaning, chirping and scrutinizing his surroundings.You can see some dull red flashes from his gorget, but he was in shadow and the angle was not ideal. The soundtrack is other birds singing and the waves on the beach below.

Then after a while Coralita came to the feeder, and quite quickly Fred intervened. I could not quite see what happened next but within a few seconds I saw that Fred was performing a mating dance just below me, presumably for her benefit, though I could not see where she was. Here's Coralita snacking on coral honeysuckle, and then another video of Fred, with a clear red flash at the end when he quits his perch.

Next, Coralita visits the bluffside feeder (perhaps best played back at 0.25 speed - use the Youtube cogwheel) - and just as she leaves Fred arrives (not shown).

Shortly after, Fred does his mating dance. The video shows only the last segment of the dance, and it's difficult to follow, until you watch carefully the upper left and right corners, where Fred briefly swings above the level of the vegetation. He then plunges down to the center middle of the frame and swings rapidly up to the other top corner. Presumably the object of his affections is located somewhere in the plant tangle at the bottom center of the frame. He's almost impossible to see as he moves rapidly across the vegetation. You can try running the vid at 0.25 speed, though he's still streaking near the dance nadir! The female judges the male largely based on the speed and accuracy of the dance.


  1. Still only a single male out here in East Hampton ... I wonder if he's waiting for the female to arrive?