Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hummingbird Rescue

Yesterday morning when Pinkerbelle was taking out the trash, she noticed that a hummingbird was stuck in the garage.  The little creature had flown in, but could not find its way back out.  It flew around frantically up at the ceiling, never getting low enough to realize that the wide open garage door was the ticket to freedom.

Occasionally it would rest for a few seconds before buzzing around again.  I had no idea they could cling to the side of a wall like that.

I attempted to use the broom to gently encourage it out the doorway, but that was not at all effective because I was too short to reach it, and I didn't want to risk injuring it by swinging at it.  So I left the garage door open all morning, hoping it would eventually fly out.  It never did; I checked on it a few times and it was always still beating its head against the ceiling.

At one p.m., it was still in the garage, but appeared to be exhausted.  It would land for longer periods of time, looking, I thought, quite discouraged.  I could hear it peeping, and decided I had to do something.  Firstborn and I taped a fish (aquarium) net to the end of the broom, and next time it landed on the wall, I gently placed the net over it and pulled it down.

It did not try to escape the net, which I realized was because the tiny little claws of one foot were caught in the fine mesh.

I set the net down on the grass, hoping it would be able to fly away.  It just laid there with its eyes closed.  I did not want to pull at its foot for fear of breaking it right off. 

Somehow I managed to assist it free of the net, and then it just sat in my hand.  It was a beautiful iridescent green, and so unbelievably tiny!  I even saw its tongue dart out of its beak a couple times.

After recuperating for a couple minutes, it finally darted off and landed in a tree across the street.  I'm sure it was relieved to be free, and I was relieved that it appeared to be unharmed, and grateful for my uncommon encounter with this tiniest of birds.

Some hummingbird facts, from How to Enjoy Hummingbirds:
  • because a hummingbird can rotate its wings in a circle, they are the only bird that can fly forwards, backwards, up, down ,sideways and  hover in mid air
  • hummingbirds are the second largest family of birds with 343 species
  • hummingbirds can beat their wings up to 80 times a second during normal flight
  • a hummingbird has a heart rate that can reach up to 1,260 beats per minute


Melissa said...

Poor bird. I am glad you got him out before he collapsed completely from exhaustion.

Suzanne@Meridian Road said...

I had that happen once in our garage with a yellow warbler. It was so exhausted I just picked it up and carried it outside.

I'm glad you got your hummingbird out before it really hurt itself.

Richella said...

You actually HELD a hummingbird in your hand?!? Are rare treat, indeed. Good for you for rescuing the poor baby!

Paula said...

Thank goodness you were able to save it. I am fascinated when I see a hummingbird.

Country Dreaming said...

Holly to the rescue! Great job!


debbie said...

Great job getting it out!

If it ever happens again and you have hummie feeders put one just inside the garage door. Usually they'll fly down to the feeder and then out. If no feeder but you have a pot of flowers that they go to that will sometimes work.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Hurray for you!! I am so *that* girl who will do just about anything to help an animal. How cool that you got to hold it.

And yes, that is your compote!!! ;) I love that thing!

MOSID #1, Navy Wife said...

That is terrific you managed to assist and save the bird! They (birds, in general) are so fragile, and can die of heart failure in the midst of rescue.
Thank goodness you got it out in time- there's lots of good karma coming your way for this!!! :)

LambAround said...

Oh my goodness! I'm so happy to read that he was okay :)