Friday, September 20, 2013

Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary

This charming cabin greets you after
your woodland walk to the sanctuary.
I have known of the existence of The Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary for some time, but had never visited. This year however, I was determined, would be the "Year of the hummingbird"..and next year too..and the year after..well, you get the idea! 

Previously I  would see one hummigbird, once a year in my garden, if I was lucky..At least I knew they came through. This year I planted Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower) and Salvia coccinea (Red Salvia), both native plants, and the hummers came..and stayed. I had daily sightings over a three week period. In the midst of that excitement, I decided to up the thrill and learning levels and visit the Hummingbird Sanctuary..I was not disappointed!

You proceed around (or through) the cabin,
 to a deck perched on the cliffs overlooking Long Island Sound.

The sanctuary is privately run and opened to the public free of charge during the month of August, other times by appointment. If you are on Long Island, or plan to be in the area at that time of year, here is a link to sanctuary information.

You have to check the blog day-of  to be sure the sanctuary is opened and you will have to sign a liability waiver, due to legal issues with neighbors, I believe..I am new to all this please read carefully! Even if you are not planning to visit,  the sanctuary website and accompanying blog provides a wealth of information..such as lists of hummingbird-friendly plants and sources to obtain them. 

One has to admire, and be grateful to, Professor Paul Adams,  of Stony Brook University, who provides this selfless service to birds, humans and the environment.

Gardens are stunningly designed to accent the location.

Hummer banquet all around.

There are also lower gardens. Unfortunately, due to Sandy's erosion, one can no longer descend the cliffs to the beach. That doesn't matter however, because there are garden chairs everywhere, and you are here to watch the hummingbirds..and the butterflies..

Here's one now!
(Feeding on Salvia greggii..I think)
And another!

The only humming bird that breeds on Long Island is the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird ( Archillocus colubris). These birds do not form mating pairs..the male comes early in the spring to stake out a territory. When the females arrive, the males go a-courtin'. Then the males leave (tsk!) and the females build the nests and tend the young. This may explain why I have never been lucky enough to see an adult male..

The beautiful Salvia uliginosa or Bog Sage, 
Chosen not only for the hummers, 
but because it matches the sky and the sea!

Look! Another Hummer!
A juvenile male I think..
Butterflies too! On Pink Porterweed (Stachytarpheta mutablis)
A four star hummer plant accoding to the sanctuary blog.
Giant Swallowtail, a "lifer" butterfly for me!

I feel pretty!
One of six Monarchs I have seen all summer.

Yes, I know you are seeing Butterfly Bush in this post, and yes, I know it is invasive..and no, in my opinion, we shouldn't plant it..but that is an entire topic in itself..

Did I mention I had hummers in my garden?
On Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

On Salvia coccinea

"Hummingbird don't fly away, fly away.."

A flash of harmless lightning, A mist of rainbow dyes, The burnished sunbeams brigtening, From flower to flower she flies~John Banister Tabb


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks so much Kerri, but the kudos belong to the creator of this wonderful resource!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Luis, glad you liked it!

  3. Spectacular pictures of the hummingbirds. I think that one with the dappled throat is a juvenile male? I admit, I mostly see females too. Any males that come by refuse to stay for a picture!

    1. Thanks for your input Ellen, the Crossley Guide agrees with you. I foolishly did not consider that possibility....The post had been amended..Thanks again!

  4. What a treat! I would have a hard time leaving...!

    1. I didn't want to leave, andI am still enchanted..Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Thanks for taking us along. I feel like I was there with you! Stunning photos my friend.

    1. You shall have to visit Long Island again..and be there with me ;-)

  6. That sounds like a relaxing way of birding. Just sit back for a change and enjoy the beauty of the hummingbirds and the butterflies. Sure beats a day at work!

    1. Ha..anything beats a day of work ;-) Retirement is a blessing..and the Hummingbird Santuary is a treasure!