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Balboa Park Hummingbirds
Balboa Park Hummingbirds

Hidden Hummingbird Sanctuary in Balboa Park

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UPDATE! July 2015: The area behind the Museum of Art has been totally revamped and improved. Sadly, the tree where the hummingbird feeders used to hang was cut down and the hummingbird feeders are gone. :(

Tip of the Week: November 8, 2008


"Hummingbird don't fly away,
fly away
Hummingbird don't fly away,
fly away
Don't fly away, don't fly away..."
-1971, Seals and Crofts

You might think that this "Tip" is for the birds. And you'd be right. Though we've written about another location in Balboa Park recently, a little birdie encouraged us to share this tip with you.

This is for the lightweights among us. Those who are always buzzing around. If you put a nickle in your hand, you can get a sense for what they weigh. They can fly in a straight line parallel to your car at 50 mph, if they were so moved to do so. Let's put it another way, our fine-feathered friends flutter at 72 beats a second or for those mathmatically challenged, 4500 beats a minute. They mesmerize most of us with their grace and speed.

In Balboa Park, hidden from view, is a secret place where the birds of this feather flock together. Hummingbirds. This is nature as art. This is a case of one man's creativity enhancing nature.

Just behind the San Diego Museum of Art building, on the service road that leads to the Old Globe, Old Globe Way, you'll find one of those magical out-of-the-way sights. You can drive, but you'll have to violate the DO NOT ENTER signs. We know our readers, and some of you (like us) don't let those signs stop you. Even still, you'll have to act fast as the road is used and it is a single-lane road. You can also walk into the Old Globe's courtyard to find the road or catch it from the western end of the Botanical Garden or walk the entire Old Globe Way from Village Place off Park Blvd. You have options. Gotta love options.

As the story goes, a San Diego Museum of Art security guard, "Wally" a rare bird indeed, on his own time and own dime, has taken it under his wing to provide a hummingbird sanctuary for hungry hummingbirds. He has placed 12-20 feeders,
Balboa Park Hummingbird Feeders
Balboa Park Hummingbird Feeders
filled with nectar of various colors, and has hung them high from the branches of a tree just outside of the back of the museum. He has developed his own apparatus to tend to the feeders.The artistry is not only in the beautiful display of color and the movement of the birds, but in the reflection of the feeders in the glass of the museum windows. FYI: We talked to "Wally" loves to take care of the birds. It brings him great joy to know that he is providing something that people appreciate.

Balboa Park is the largest urban cultural park in the United States. It has everything imaginable to see. But, sometimes, it is coming across these hidden treasures that are so simple and so beautiful - that makes a visit to Balboa Park more than just a walk in the park. Just wing it sometime and visit this unofficial hummingbird sanctuary.

Q: Where is it, exactly?
A: Right here!

Where else can you find hummingbirds in San Diego?

Here are some other places sweet enough for our winged friends:

Quail Botanical Gardens-Encinitas- the natural environment is the perfect setting to attract hummingbirds.

San Diego Wild Animal Park - Escondido- Hidden Jungle Aviary hosts several South American species of hummingbirds.

San Diego Zoo -Hummingbird Hut - Left of the Wegeforth Bowl and the Reptile House, is a special house for hummingbirds. Once inside, be still and just watch the action around you.

·  Best Birding Spots in San Diego County
·  Balboa Park Administration Courtyard Park
·  The Legend of a Buried Treasure on the Silver Strand in Coronado
·  The Boat Houses in Encinitas
·  A Secret Garden in San Diego
·  The Friendship Bell at Shelter Island

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