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, December 30, 2017

The Other Chick Fledges

This morning the second chick was still in the nest - but clearly almost ready to fledge:

I was able to film Mom feeding this chick.

A bit later I filmed what I took to be Mom approach the nest as if to feed but on reviewing the video I saw that it was a male - note the purple throat - possibly Dad. Maybe he was urging Junior to jump, but instead the chick cowered very low into the nest. Then at noon I saw the nest was empty. I heard a hummer buzzing around in a nearby tree - and filmed what I believe to be Mom preening herself. She then went higher into the branches but I could not see if she was feeding her fledged chicks.

Hummer Mom Feeds just-Fledged Chick

I was just about to dead-head an oleander, here at the Bahamian winter location of the Sanctuary, when I noticed perched right in front of me a tiny hummingbird. I knew immediately that it had recently fledged, because the beak was very short, and the bird made no attempt to fly off, even though I was only 2 feet away. I quickly went to fetch my video camera from the house, and he (I will assume it was a boy) was still there when I returned and started to film. In less that a minute I heard the mother buzzing nearby, she passes briefly close then lands on the twig. The chick was chipping/squeaking as she approached, and only stopped when the mother moves closer and started to feed the chick. But the mother was clearly spooked by my presence and started to buzz me threateningly. I retreated, and then filmed the chick, still in the same spot, from a different angle. I then decided to see if I could find the nest, since clearly the chick had very recently fledged, and would still be very near the nest. Sure enough I soon spotted the nest in a large tropical almond tree - the same tree where I had filmed Thumbelina a year ago! And the second chick was still in the nest! 
Here's a view of the nest:

and of the sibling fledgling from another viewpoint:

and a wider view of the nest:

Thursday, December 21, 2017


I'm now at our winter place in the Bahamas. It's good to be warm again, and surrounded by hummingbirds. Here are a couple of movies I cobbled together using footage I shot yesterday. The first, short, movie is drone-based, the second, long, one shows the garden, opening with a hummingbird sequence.

Friday, December 8, 2017

NY Times article - and soon Southward Ho!

Here, in today's NY Times, is an interesting comparison between hummingbirds and bees. However, it does not mention aggression between the 2 species (with bees usually winning), or the fact that bees make holes in flowers which prevent hummers from feeding (see

All the flowers at the sanctuary are long gone, and I'll soon be reporting "Calypso", from our winter location in the Bahamas. It will be good to see hummers again - and this view!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Westward Ho! - mid-november droning

in mid-november there were still some leaves on the trees and I sent the drone "Westward Ho!":

I cannot resist adding this NC Wyeth image:

and this, an illustration from the same book.


and finally one of Wyeth's personal paintings.