Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Feeding Hummingbirds in Montego Bay


Feeding Hummingbirds in Montego Bay

On a girlie Jamaica holiday, my friend and I decided to break the lazy beach routine in order to see a bit more of the country besides our beach loungers. We hired a private driver through the tour desk of our Negril hotel to take us to the Rocklands bird feeding Sanctuary in Anchovy, not far from Montego Bay.


Feeding Hummingbirds in Montego Bay

Rocklands Sanctuary was established by Lisa Salmon, in 1962. This lady was a writer, a painter and a bird lover who spent a lot of her time feeding the birds in her garden. Within a couple of years she had attracted so many different kinds of birds that she decided to open her home and garden for visitors. She died in 2000, but her family has kept the sanctuary going ever since. You can spot many bird species here, but the main reason to go and visit Rocklands is that you can hand feed hummingbirds here. At least, I think so! It’s not a place usually visited on tours in Jamaica, which made it all the more interesting.

Feeding Hummingbirds in Montego Bay


Our driver picked us up in the morning and took us on a long drive along the coast from Negril towards Montego Bay, pointing out several places of interest along the way. After a few hours he took us down a deserted and bumpy road which lead to what looked like the middle of nowhere. This slightly worried us since he’d already offered to be the father of our children only moments earlier. But then we saw a sign that said Rocklands Sanctuary. It’s a modest home surrounded by a secluded and lush garden.

Feeding Hummingbirds in Montego Bay

When we entered the garden, we were greeted by one enthusiastic little hummingbird hovering right in front of me, guiding us towards the feeding area. Their wings move so fast that they can actually hang still in the air, much like a helicopter. The movements of their tiny wings make quite a loud humming noise, which is of course what gives them their name. Fritz the caretaker gave us mini-bar sized vodka bottles filled with sugar water, and with a pierced top. I was told to sit down, stick out my index finger, tilt the bottle and wait. It took a while before anything happened and just as I started to feel a bit stupid, one of them came to feed. It landed on my finger and its little claws grabbed hold. Still flapping its wings, it drank eagerly from the mini vodka bottle until it had enough and fluttered away.

Visitors do need to pay for the hummingbird experience and when we went it was USD20. But it was well worth the money, at least I think so!

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