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First Flight: A Mother Hummingbird’s Story

When Noriko and Don Carroll moved from New York City to suburban Las Vegas, they found a tiny nest on a clothesline on their back porch. As the Carrolls settled into their new home, so did a female hummingbird they named Honey. For weeks, the Carrolls watched in fascination as they witnessed an event few humans are privy to-the birth and growth of two hummingbirds.

First Flight is the beautifully photographed story of Honey and her two chicks, Ray and Zen. In over 50 stunning, full-color close-ups, it captures the grace, the beauty, and the simultaneous strength and fragility of one of nature’s tiniest birds.

Professional photographer Don Carroll’s images of his tiny housemates are woven throughout with Noriko’s charming narrative describing the mother bird and her developing brood.

Not just for bird enthusiasts, First Flight is a magical mix of hummingbird field guide, personal story, and new life taking flight. Readers will be captivated by the inherent drama as it unfolds in miniature, and they’ll cheer as babies Ray and Zen make their own first flights out into a bright new world.

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  1. Elaine Campbell "Desert Dweller" says:

    BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE, BEAUTIFUL BOOK This exquisite book is about loving and caring for what one loves. The Carroll’s masterpiece springs from their love for Honey the Hummingbird as they daily devote themselves to watching her from her return from wintering in Mexico, the laying of two eggs in a nest on a clothesline which she had previously built and inhabited, the birth of her babies, which the Carrolls named Ray and Zen, and her nurturing of them until and after their fledgling flights.Everything about this book is done with devotion and great care. The text, written by Noriko Carroll, is a perfect accompaniment to what seems to me genius level photographs taken by Don Carroll. There are special lighting effects as a background to many of the photographs, and Mr. Carroll explains in an afterword called “Photographics Notes” that a mirror reflecting parts of his flower garden was used to create these stunning effects. I plan to order another copy of this book, take it to a framer and request that several of the photographs be removed and framed, to be hung on a wall of my home.The description on the inside of the book jacket cover is even unique. It is not the standard patois one usually reads. It is done with great care, depth and intelligence. It is the finest of its kind I have ever read.You will learn a great deal about hummingbirds, and if you have a backyard feeder, you will find out the proper and best way to maintain it. You will become more aware of the hummingbirds in your yard and in your life. And, unless you have a heart of stone, you will end up loving them, if you do not do so already.I heartily thank the Carrolls for their magnificent undertaking of introducing us to the life and ways of this wonderful bird and her offspring. It is their artistic skills, their intact sense of wonder and awe (which so many tend to lose in adulthood), and their capacity to love which has brought this book to us. Quite a gift!

  2. Jay Maisel says:

    Noriko and Don Carroll have done it again. First, a wonderful memoir of their cat, “Happy Birthday”, and now an even more surprising story, an example of patience, persistence, perception and love. The adventures of hummingbirds, an entire life cycle in vivid beautiful color, and amazingly intimate details (this from a new Yorker whose only contact with bird life is pigeons). I think you’ll be as delighted as I was. – Jay Maisel

  3. K. McMurray says:

    Delightful! A touching family portrait of hummers that is a feast for the eyes. I marveled at the technical wizardry of photographer Don Carroll and the simple prose by Noriko that did justice to this little wonder of nature. This book definetly stays on my coffee table!

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