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Yesterday, I saved a life

Do you remember back in April 2011 when I saved 9 little quail chicks? If not, HERE is that story.

9chicks

Yeah, that’s a sweet little tale.
I like quail.

But… I LOVE hummingbirds.
Love. Them.

I feel that hummingbirds and I are kindred spirits.
We are naturally attracted to each other.

2hummers

I’ve blogged about my love for them before. Here, here, and here – to show but a few.

Yesterday I spent the day better part of the day bringing a beautiful little hummingbird, that was on death’s door, back to life.

love him

Yes, this is him.

This was not the first or the second or even the third time I’ve held a hummingbird in my hand. It’s the forth time! But it was the first time I saved one’s life. Here is what went down –

I was in the backyard, watering plants, when I heard a rustling in the brown crackly canna lily that is frozen to a crunchy crisp from last week’s arctic blast.

cannalilly

Before the freeze, the plants looked like this, and now they are trashed. No worries, they’ll come back better and bigger in the spring. But for now, yuck.

So, I hear the noise and look over and see a hummingbird fly up, up from the gravel and dead leaves. I think, “What was he doing down there?” You don’t often see hummers on the ground.

hurt hummingbird

I walk over to see what he could have been attracted to and I see another hummingbird laying there with a hurt wing.

ouch bird

I pick him up and put him on a towel on the kitchen counter. Then I mix up some sugar water to feed him.

birdie

I’m keeping an eye on him and he doesn’t move. I pick him up again and feed him.

feed the bird

I’m home alone, so I’m taking pictures with my iPhone in one hand while I’m holding him with the other.

feeding

No easy task! Once he’s had his fill, and he drank a lot, I put him back down on the towel.

fly away

And what does he do? He flies off! In the house! I see him go through the breakfast room, around the corner and into the dining room and from there… I don’t know!

I run through the house closing all the doors so that I don’t completely lose him, then I begin searching. It takes about 10 minutes and I finally find him on the carpet by the front window.

He looks dead. Head on the carpet, not moving. I feel like crying. Apparently he hit the front window and fell to the ground. So I pick him up and he moves, his little heart is beating so fast. Thank goodness!

about to fall in

I take him back outside and place jar lid next to him that is filled with sugar water.  I go back in the house because I can hear other hummingbirds flying around and they aren’t happy.

An hour later, I look out to check on him and he has fallen into the sugar water! Looking dead again!

What the heck?!?! I take him out of that. Put him on a towel, feed him from a spoon and leave again.

An hour later, I check on him again and he is a mess, the sugar water has dried on him and he is stuck, there is no way he can fly like that.

So, I bring him back inside. I rig up a cleaning/restraining station. A strainer with a towel in the bottom. I put him on the towel and place another strainer, upside down, over that and run water over him to wash off all the dried sugar. Then I dry him with another clean towel, feed him yet again, and put him back on the towel outside.

about to fly

I check on him about 2o minutes later, and he’s looking good. His wing is tucked back in, for the first time all day, and he is alert.

I turn to walk away and I hear him chirp, I spin around to look and he flies off into the tree above!  YAY!

I run inside to get my phone to take a picture of him in the tree, but he is gone.

born free

The towel is empty. He has flown away to live another day.

I go back inside, load the photos, and look at the timestamps on the them.

The first was taken at 9:30 AM and the last at 1:40 PM. Four hours of my day… worth it. Totally worth it!

Live long and prosper, Hummer. xoxo


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9 comments

1 Peggy { 01.24.13 at 9:47 AM }

Love this story, Linda. Good luck Hummer!!

2 Marissa { 01.24.13 at 10:28 AM }

I’m sure he will remember you forever.

3 Shelley { 01.24.13 at 10:34 AM }

What a lovely story!

4 Linda Hopkins { 01.24.13 at 11:04 AM }

Marissa! I am sure he will! <3

5 Pat { 01.24.13 at 2:32 PM }

Using just another one of your talents. What patience to do all that and what a great story.

6 dagmar { 01.24.13 at 2:48 PM }

I too have a love for humming birds. Wonderful story…Here is a quote I saw after you pinned that little bird, but I hadn’t read the story at that time.

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”

? L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

7 Linda { 01.24.13 at 5:53 PM }

Thanks Dagmar, love that. xox

8 Sydney { 01.24.13 at 8:56 PM }

I have read about hummers remaining with their mate when they are hurt. Someone told me they will try to feed the mate as well. Thank you for saving this beautiful creature. All is good in the world!

9 Karen { 01.26.13 at 9:30 AM }

Great story! I will be smiling all day 🙂

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