Monday, August 16, 2010

A baby hummingbird...

So, yesterday afternoon I was looking out the window/sliding door at my collection of pots when I saw a little hummer going to the flowers. As I watched, it fell on the deck. Since at least two of the three cats were also on the deck, I hurried out to rescue it. It was scared of me and flew off the deck, but landed in the grass. I was afraid that Princess would go after it, so I ran down to get it before she did. I think she actually didn't even see it. Thankfully.

It was sprawled in the grass and I was able to gently pick it up and bring it in the house. I really didn't want Princess to get it. It wasn't hurt. It was just a baby, still learning how to fly. First it flew toward the sliding door, but since it couldn't fly very fast, it didn't really hit it. It just slid down and sat on the rug. It sat there and closed its eyes, while I ran around like crazy making sugar water for it and dashing out to the shed to find a hummingbird feeder.

Finally the mixture was cool enough and I was able to get it to drink some. It still wanted to rest, so I let it rest. I put it on the paper because it would get its little bitty claws caught in the rug and I didn't want it to get injured in any way.

It was such a tiny thing to hold. I held it very gently to help it drink. And a few times it would cling to my fingers, but for it to drink, I would have to hold it and put its beak into the sipping hole on the feeder. It was content to sit and rest on the feeder for a long time. It was so little and such an amazingly beautiful creature.

Once it preened itself a little bit, sticking its long beak into feathers. And several times it chirped very soft little sounds. It also would try to fly a little, almost more like exercising its wings, trying to figure out what it could do.

I knew it had to go back outside. (Mommy hummingbirds will take care of their babies even after humans have handled them as hummers apparently have no sense of smell.) I gave it some more to drink and then it flew a little ways inside the house, so I figured it would probably at least have a chance outside. I took both the feeder and the little bird out. I carried the little hummer but finally set it on the feeder which I had hung at about shoulder level on my rose arbor.

It sat on the feeder for a few seconds and then made a flight of a couple of inches to a rose cane. The baby hummer rested there for a few more moments and then flew up and sat on the rain gutter. It sat there for a long, long time. I watched it to see what it would do. Several other hummers came and went in the garden, but it just sat. Finally, it flew down and perched in my garden for a minute and then back up to the roof, where I think it found a tiny insect to eat. And then it flew over the roof. I like to think that one day I'll see it again, even if I don't know it, eating bugs and sipping nectar from flowers in my garden.

Have a beautiful day!


Anonymous said...

How cool!!

~ K ~

Anonymous said...

That is so adorable!!! The girls loved this one. :)


Daricia said...

How extraordinary, ruth! Great pictures, and a cool story! I hope you do see the little bird again.

Ruth said...

Thank you all for your comments. It really was amazing to have the little thing for a few hours!