Visit to the Hummer House


The Hummer House is actually a B&B resort near Christoval, Texas, about 20 miles south of San Angelo.  It consists of the original Hummer House, the name of the first cottage constructed there, plus two newer additions, a four bedroom lodge, and a nice cozy one bedroom bungalow.  In addition there is an observation room with a large window measuring by my own estimates about 30 feet long by about 9 feet high.  A perfect setting to view and photographs birds and wildlife in air-conditioned comfort.  However, guests have the option of roaming around the several acres of woodland and a flowing river.

On our visit, because of the heat, Ann and I opted to sit in the observation room.  There were several other people in there doing the same.  The birds were active, especially hundreds of Black-chinned Hummingbirds.  Here is my favorite image of one of them.  I got lucky and happened to get a head-on flight image.

"Gear down, full flaps, I'm coming in".

“Gear down, full flaps, I’m coming in”.

By the way, I was using my Canon 7D Mark II and a Tamron 150-600mm lens mounted on a mono-pod.  Feel free to click on any image to see an enlargement.  They look great if you will view them on a computer.

One of the favorite birds that people like to see at the Hummer House is this Painted Bunting.

Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting

In addition, I was able to photograph this White-eyed Vireo, before the sun got to high.  It was perched on a little wire structure over the water feature.

White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo

This Summer Tanager was doing the same, enjoying the water spray that comes on periodically.

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager

The observation room is open to the public on Friday evening from 7:00PM until 9:00PM, and on Saturdays from 9:00AM until 3:00PM.  Dan and Cathy Brown would welcome you.

I hope you enjoyed this post and the images.

Happy Birding!!

Where’s the spring??


Wow, I am wondering about all of this crazy weather.  Yesterday we almost set a record high at 96 degrees.  But…..by 10:00PM the temp had dropped into the 40s.  Today’s high will be in the 50s.  So, I am wondering if and when we will actually get some permanent springtime temps.  But I must say that the 96 yesterday looked like we were going to skip spring altogether, go directly to summer without passing Go and getting our 200.00.   Such is the weather in west Texas.

We took a short visit to the Hummer House in Christoval a couple of days ago.  We were a bit early for most of the birds that frequent there.  We did see several Black-chinned Hummingbirds, some Northern Cardinals, Black-crested Titmouses, and some sparrows.  We decided to head back to San Angelo and went to the blind at San Angelo State Park.

Here are a couple of photos from the day.

Black-crested Titmouse at the Hummer House in Christoval, Texas.

Black-crested Titmouse at the Hummer House in Christoval, Texas.

Northern Cardinal at San Angelo State Park

Northern Cardinal at San Angelo State Park

After getting home later, my neighbor called to say that there was a large hawk flying around the neighborhood.  I grabbed my Canon EOS 7D and 100-400mm zoom lens and ran outside.  With my binoculars I spotted him high in the sky.  I took the shot below, but because of the extreme distance, it was difficult to get much of a picture.  However, this heavily cropped image does clearly show the marking of a Swainson’s Hawk.

Swainson's Hawk in flight.

Swainson’s Hawk in flight.

Click on any image to see an enlargement.

The Hummer House


Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

If you are thinking that this place is for a chorus that doesn’t know the words, you are wrong.  The Hummer House is a quaint bed and breakfast located at Christoval, Texas.  Well, actually it is about a mile outside of Christoval, which is about twenty miles south of San Angelo, Texas.

I spent part of the day there yesterday.  It is part of the Brown Ranch, owned by Dan and Cathy Brown.  It is aptly named for the proliferation of various Hummingbird species that reside there in season.  That would be from about mid-March until late September.  Dan and Cathy put out a couple dozen hummingbird feeders. and the hummingbirds return each year to this refuge.  Also other bird species and wildlife abound there.  Deer and wild turkey are regular visitors every evening. 

There is a bird viewing room that measures about 25 feet long with a large

Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting

window over-looking the feeders and a small pond.  It will seat about 40 people, either spectators that like to watch, or photographers.  I am one of the latter and this is one of my favorite places to spend time with my cameras.

The viewing area is open to the public, for a small fee.  Guests of the bed and breakfast can use it at no charge.  But you must call ahead or you won’t able to get through the gate.  Because of the popularity of the place, Dan and Cathy were forced to lock the gate and put a key-pad on it.  When you make your reservation to visit the viewing area, they will furnish you  the number.

The guest quarters consist of three separate cottages.  The Hummer House that accomodates 4-6 adults, The Lodge for 8-10 adults, and The Hideway, a romantic little place for 1-2 guests.  All are luxurously appointed and stocked with basic cooking ingredients, breakfast foods, fresh fruit, etc.  My wife, Ann, and I stay there 2-3 times a year.

Because of the high population of hummingbirds and other species, it is a popular place for the people that do bird-banding.  Literally thousands of birds are banded there every year.  Bird-banding is done to keep up with the immigration habits of different bird species.

So for a great birding experience, in the air-conditioned comfort of this wonderful place, check it out.

Happy Birding!!

See more photos at www.zellertexasphotos.com