Personal
Experiences
with
Hummingbirds

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Hummingbird Stories by People Like You

 

 

1.  A Wedding Visitor

On August 20, 2002 John and I were married in Carson City, Nevada in the parlor of a beautiful Victorian mansion kitty-corner to the Governor's mansion. Our wedding was beautiful. I wore a full-length bridal dress of ivory chiffon, carried cream colored roses and the groom wore black pants, white shirt, cream colored jacket, and a maroon/blue/white tie. A small wedding cake, coffee, and non-alcoholic beverages were serviced. Pictures were being taken until we had to change batteries. As we sat eating our cake, the most wonderful and unusual thing happened. A hummingbird (green w/red throat) entered the parlor where we had just finished the ceremony a short time ago and would not leave. He circled the room around and around many times near the ceiling around the light hanging from the ceiling. Someone finally shut off the light and soon the hummingbird flew out. We did not take a picture of the hummingbird because as Native Americans (John [Cherokee/Choctaw] and I [Cherokee/Apache]) we didn't want to dishonor the hummingbird's pathway during his visit to our wedding. For the hummingbird to do such an honor as to visit us on our most happiest of days is a very special love story and in our memories his presence will always be with us.

Janet

 

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2.  Fiddling around with Hummers

I've had many encounters with hummers throughout my life, so many so that I have a tattoo of a ruby-throat on my arm. Naturally, I have many flowers that attract them and a feeder hanging outside my office window, about 4-feet away from my face. It's been there for three years (as long as we've owned the house) and it seems like the same three hummers come back each year, one ruby-throat and two females (Northeast, Connecticut).

I work with quite a few musicians (I'm in the promotion business) and music plays constantly in my office, both live and internet broadcast. While recording some live PSA's (Public Service Announcements) for a local college radio station, one of the musicians decided to play fiddle. As he did, one of the females flew into my office, hovered, watched him play and listened. When he was through, she flew away. So just for ha-ha's, we asked him to play again. He did.... and she flew back in!

After a short time, he replaced the fiddle with a guitar, but when he played it, no hummer. Someone mentioned jokingly that maybe his fiddle playing was better than his guitar playing and then something about quitting his day job, and he picked up his fiddle to make a point. What do you know but as soon as he began playing that fiddle again the hummer came back in, and just hovered and enjoyed the "private performance". But only with the fiddle. This happened for the entire afternoon.

Maybe that's *really* why they go South in the winter? Better fiddle players...? ;_)

-fishee of BlueFish Radio

 

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3.  A Hummingbird at the Cemetery

I have been a hummingbird lover for several years, and living in Glendale, AZ, we have them for many months of the year. My mom lived with us for a couple of years, then she moved into a nearby nursing home. I shared my Birds & Blooms Magazines with her, she especially liked the ones with hummingbirds. I told her about the new hummingbirds that came to my feeders, and how my husband had discovered a nest with babies at his workplace and took the kids and I to see it. I discovered your website and told her how I'd love to visit your ranch and see all the different species of hummingbirds. She always said she hoped I'd be able to go. My mom became very ill in May of 2000, we didn't know for sure until November that it was cancer, but she only lived for 3 weeks after she was diagnosed. She was the sweetest lady, everyone who knew her loved her dearly. She never had very much self confidence, never learned how to ride a bike or swim, and she was terrified to fly in an airplane. I hadn't been home very much for the last month (I spent every possible moment with her), but two days after she passed away, as I was sitting in my kitchen with my Aunt trying to make final arrangements, I saw a hummingbird at my feeder. I was very surprised because it was December 16th. But we were so preoccupied, and so very emotional, I didn't say anything. After the service, as we were getting ready to leave the cemetery to go back to the church, I decided I wanted a flower from a wreath at her grave. I walked alone towards the wreath and suddenly a beautiful, brightly-colored hummingbird came out of nowhere and hovered right in front of my face! I just stood there transfixed as it hovered and the sunlight glinted off of its brilliant colors. It flew up a couple of feet, hovered again for a couple of seconds, then turned and paused. The sunlight reflecting off of its back was such a beautiful, bright light. It then flew away, going higher into the sky until I could no longer see it. It was so amazing, because I had been at the cemetery many times visiting and tending to the grave of a very dear friend buried there, and many of my husband's family members are buried there, and I had never seen a hummingbird there before. I felt as though it was a sign to me letting me know that now that my mother is in heaven, sitting at the feet of Jesus and receiving her rewards for being such a faithful and humble servant, she finally realizes how beautiful she has always been, and she is free from pain, she is happy -- she is no longer afraid to fly!!!

Thanks for letting me share this. Debbie

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4.   How Light and Cool!

I had been at work all morning. It was finally lunch time, and since I live 4 miles from work I decided to go home and let my dogs out for some air and so they can do their business outside. It was sprinkling so I went into the garage with the garage door still open I decided to sit peacefully and enjoy the much needed rain.

About 4-5 minutes latter I hear this weird noise coming towards me. I look up and it was a cute little hummingbird. It landed on the wheel of my mountain bike and just sat there for a few minutes. It flew up towards the ceiling but appeared to have problems with one wing. It now began to fly low with some problems and landed behind my husbands tool chest. Thank God it had wheels on it because I know I now had a hurt Hummer and could not leave it that way. I moved the tool chest and he just sat there. I had no choice but to reach down and pick him up. As he let me do this I knew something was wrong but as soon as I stood up with him in my hand he flew away outside of the garage under a tree. The rain really coming down I knew I could not leave him there for the neighbor cats to make a meal of him so I began walking to the tree and he flew away again very low to the ground to my neighbors yard.

I stood in the rain for a few minutes trying to figure out what to do. I only had 5 min to get back to work I was soaked at this time but refused to leave him alone.

My neighbor did not cut his grass that week so it was pretty high, but I could see this pretty green neck popping up and I knew I had to go get him. I walked in the grass and got up to him and picked him up. He was making the sweetest noise and I was amazed how light and cool it was actually holding a hummingbird. The poor guy had some spider web tangles in his precious little wing, so I removed it praying that was all that was wrong with him.

Once the web was removed I really wanted to take advantage of studying his face and just be in awe of him but I knew he wanted to go and I was now 20 minutes late for work. I opened the palm of my hand for him to go and for what felt like 30 min was only maybe 10 seconds he sat in my now open hand. I thought Oh No I broke him or something, but then he flew away as high as he could into a near pine tree.

I got back to work and explained to my boss what happened and she laughed and gave me a big hug and said she was a huge hummingbird lover and appreciated what I had done. I am now nicknamed Dr. Doolittle at work and that is ok, but the real cool thing about this story is this.....I have had my hummingbird feeder for 3 years now and only 1 of them years I got visitors from Hummers.

Two days after my rescue of the little hummer I now had 7 at one time at my old and new feeder. Now I am trying to learn more on these cute little guys so I can make my home  theirs.

Melissa, from Spring, TX

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5. Mechanic to the Rescue

While working in an auto repair shop in Maine, a hummingbird had the misfortune of flying into the garage. The garage was open at both ends, but the little bird flew up into the insulation and began emitting high pitched squeaks while frantically flying for a way out. I knew he was in trouble, so I told the boss, "I've got to get up there and help him".

The ceiling was some 20' high and the ladder we had required me to stretch out on my toes on the very top rung, while the boss held it firmly. I waited until the hummingbird landed on a steel girder, and reached up and slid a finger down both sides of his body. He looked at me, but did not move, letting me carry him down the ladder and out to the back door.

It was a strange day for me, as the hummingbird turned his head, looked at me, seemed he offered his gratitude and in a flurry of motion, buzzed out of my fingers on his merry way. I worked in that garage for about a year, and that day was by far the finest one I had, perhaps in all of work. I felt he would die without my help as the insulation had obscured his direction. To this day, I search for the significance of it all. I saved his life. I smile at the thought of that wonderful day.

Sincerely, Andrew

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6. The Bumblebee Fighter

This happened in August of 2001, in southern Iowa.

I was setting at the table watching the humming birds, feed from the feeder I have just outside the kitchen window. The male hummingbird likes to run all the other humming birds away when they try to eat. He will dive at them to get them to leave. There was a Bumblebee that came along and decided he would try the humming bird feeder. The male hummingbird had a different idea. He dove at him then followed him until the bee left. It was not long till the bee was back, this time the hummingbird dove at him, and as he was leaving he forced the bee down into the grass. This time he waited just above the Bumblebee till the bee started to fly away then the humming bird followed him till they were out of my sight.

This is the first time I had witnessed anything that wasn't afraid of a Bumblebee.

-Donald

 

 7.  The Hummingbird Angel

We live in a very small Amish community, Topeka, Indiana, which lies in beautiful La Grange county, in northeast Indiana.

 The day is Wednesday, May 23, 2001. I wake at 4:30 a.m. to get ready to be at my first job by 5:30 a.m. the weather is very unstable. Storms are in the forecast. As I am leaving for work, I remember to write a note to my son. You see, today was a very special day.. I wanted to remind him to take his senior pictures with him to school to trade with the other seniors.

The seniors were to meet at a local church, for the annual "senior breakfast". Then the class would go to the school for graduation practice. After practice, the seniors "run the halls", for one last time, and all the staff and underclassmen cheer them on.

As I left my first job, to go to work at the school at 10:30, I prayed that I hadn't missed the seniors "run". I wanted to take pictures of Michael and his friends. Well, I had made there in time. They were just ready to take off.  As Michael came by me, he stopped and said "I love you, Mom !" with that came one of his famous bear hugs. 

Before Michael left that day, he stopped by my office to talk. I reminded him that he was to be home to help his dad remove a post from our yard. Again, Michael hugged me and said, "I love you, mom!"

Michael left.

That afternoon when I came home, Michael was not there. His dad had sent him to town to buy a new handle for the shovel. Father was very upset with Michael. Before he came home from school he stopped to get a haircut and he had his hair highlighted, which was forbidden in our household.

When Michael came home, I was in the restroom and he knocked on the door. He said "Mom, I have to show you something" I said, "Michael I already know, your dad told me, I'll be out in a minute." he said, "I have to show you now, mom." and with that he opened the door just enough to stick his head in. I said, "Michael, Michael, you know how we felt about this." his reply was, "yeah, but nobody will see it, when I have my graduation cap on."

Michael went out to help his dad. I was doing stuff around the house, when my husband came running in and said to call 911 right away, that the tractor had flipped over and was on top of Michael. I ran to the phone and called, the operator was asking all kinds of questions. I just wanted them to hurry. She wanted to know if he was breathing. I asked my husband and he said, "No, he's gone"

Well, you can imagine the hysteria that followed. This couldn't be happening, Michael was to graduate on Friday night.

Two of my brother-in-laws went to tell Momy (Amish grandmother) what had happened to Michael. She said with tears, "That was Michael !"  When asked what she meant, she replied, that she had been napping and was having a dream of this huge mass of hummingbirds and there was one pure white one. It represented an angel -- Michael.

Upon returning to our house and relaying this story to us, my husband said, "You are not going to believe this, but Michael and I was standing the garage, drinking a Pepsi, and I said to Michael that we had to get busy and get that post out of there. As we started to leave the garage, Michael stopped me and said not to move that the hummingbirds were on my flowers. They stood and watched them with awe. Then Michael was killed when the tractor he was using to pull that post, flipped over on him.

Hummingbirds became a symbol to us. They remind me how fragile life is. Anything I saw with hummingbirds or related to them, I had to have.

About two weeks after Michael's death, we received a Palm Pilot computer from Hewlett Packard Bell, that Michael had signed up to win, at a job fair, before he passed. His younger brother couldn't wait to open the package. He got it open, turned it on, his eyes became very large and he said, "Oh my word ! "

He turned the palm pilot toward us and here the screen saver was a beautiful hummingbird getting nectar from a flower. I always felt that it was a sign from Michael to let us know that he was a hummingbird angel and that he was ok.

It will soon be two years and every time I see anything related to a hummingbird, I look up and smile.

Janet,  Michael's mom

 

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8.  Dart

This is a story about Dart the hummingbird. One evening at Tall Pine Resort in Red River, NM my husband and I were photographing the hummers around our cabin. One tiny fellow was very brave and kept swooping my head as I stood near the feeder. My husband was taking pictures. I thought I would see if I could get this little one to sit on my finger to feed like one had done earlier that day.

I slowly stretched my arm up toward him but as my hand neared him, he suddenly caught the motion out of the corner of his eye. It scared him and he screeched, turned and darted smack dab into the screen door behind him. He flew so hard that his beak became stuck in the screen. My husband and I were stunned too. He quickly put down his camera and gently wrapped his hand around Dart. He pulled him free and after checking his beak and waiting for me to take a picture of him holding the hummer, we let him go no worse for wear. We saw him several more times that week and were happy he wasn't hurt.

Click here to see a cartoon I drew about the incident. (After viewing close the cartoon screen by clicking the X.)

V. Dewey

 

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9. Baby-talk from a College Football Player

We live in the suburbs of Atlanta and just built a home on a golf course. Apparently the ruby throated hummers are also a fan of golf because we have enjoyed the pleasure of their company since the day after we moved in. We ran to get some flowers to plant as soon as we moved in; I was watering the flowers in a red shirt the next morning when one "buzzed" me. I immediately went back to the store for a feeder and since then we have played host to at least 3 little guys who fight constantly, but are obviously well fed judging by how much they have fattened up this summer.

My fiancee had never seen (or even heard of) a hummingbird before. The first time he saw one he was completely amazed by them. One late afternoon while he was working in the yard one got trapped between the garage door and the roof of the garage and could not find it's way out. The hummer was chirping in distress and he didn't know what to do except try to talk him out. Finally, he got a broom handle and guided him out, but the hummer flew into a corner. About that time I arrived home to find my 6'3" ex-college-football player fiancee talking baby talk to the tiny bird whom he thought was just hovering there. Upon my closer inspection, I noticed that he was stuck in a spider's web upside down! We loosened the web and he fell to the ground. We picked him up and noticed that he was shaking like a leaf. We brought him outside into the light and after a minute he got up and flew away. I am fairly sure that he is the same one that loves to look at us through the windows when we turn on the lights as the sun is going down every night.

Theresa

 

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 10.  Bee-Guard Problems

Here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of SW Virginia the Ruby Throats arrive every year in mid-April and take off in mid-September. While they're with us, they put on the summer's greatest show and the front porch swing is our front-row seat. I want to pass on an experience I had several years ago as a warning to other lovers of the hummers.

I had several feeders hanging along the eaves of the porch roof -- two with perches, one without. There were bee guards on at least two of the feeders. I was inside and as I walked through the room I glanced out the window (which is a habit in "hummer-time") and saw a couple of hummers buzzing around. Several minutes later I walked back, glanced once more and saw the silhouette of a hummer at a feeder. I went on about my business but in just a minute something "registered" and I took another look. The hummer's wings were not moving . . . and there was NO PERCH on the feeder!

In a flash I was outside and saw the little jewel was attached to the feeder. Wishing I had three or four hands, I cupped the hummer and the bottom of the feeder with one hand and lifted the hanging wire from its nail. Then I could see that the poor little bird's TONGUE was entwined in the bee guard. So with the feeder in my lap, and still cupping the bird in one hand, I removed the bee guard and gently released the tongue. For maybe thirty seconds I held the very tired, immobile male Ruby Throat in my hand, thinking I would witness its death. But to my great joy, this little rest was all he needed; he looked me in the eye -- gratefully, I like to think -- and then took off.

That was the last time I used bee guards on my feeders. I really don't have much problem with bees at the feeders and don't see that the guards really discouraged curious bees anyway. (At the time of this experience, I wondered if the feeder had had a perch, could the hummer have braced his feet and extracted his tongue by himself. But I think probably not.)

Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: DON'T USE BEE GUARDS -- SAVE A HUMMER

-Len

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11.  Nosey

I stand on my deck overlooking my hummingbird feeders.  It is a daily thing I do. The hummingbirds have come to trust me, they fly to the feeders and then slowly to my face, and to the side of my head or to just my knee level and just talk to me. I can put a flower in my hand and they will come so close I can feel their wings fluttering. This one particular day in October, my bird I call Nosey came to me and just got near my face and chattered and chattered for at least two minutes and then came real close to my cheek, and also could feel the air move from the wings fluttering, the next day they were gone for the winter. I feel the bird was telling me good bye. 

I cried the next day when I realized they had left.. but now it is spring again and my little Nosey is back and came right to me the first time it landed on the feeder. I worry that it wont come back each year, but so far he is a regular visitor.

I can also call them with some chirping noises and they appear shortly after I start calling them. I truly feel that the trust they have in my is a gift from God.

Barbara from Saint Louis

 

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12.  The Wind-Chime Nest

There is a little wind chime that hangs from my grandparents covered patio. To anyone else this wind chime would look like its days are through but to us, and a little hummingbird, it has special significance.

About 3 years ago my grandfather noticed a tiny nest on top of his little 7 inch long wind chime outside his sliding back door. He being a bird-lover himself, studying and carving out realistic replicas of every bird under the sun, decided to take a closer look. Standing on a ladder he could not believe that a bird could fit into the tiny, acorn size nest. The nest was about half inch to an inch from the roof. He watched the nest carefully for the next 3 weeks. He had seen that it was a little hummingbird and investigated their nesting habits. As he watched he was able to see the little eggs hatch, the babies grow, and eventually fly away.

The next year he saw that the wind chime was getting pretty old and almost took it down but decided to leave it up, remembering the little birds from the year before. To his disappointment the bird did not return. Regardless of the fact the bird had found another place to call home, he left the wind chime in the same location outside his back door.  

This past month, while having a relaxing day outside on the patio, my grandfather glanced up and to his amazement he saw the little hummingbird from 2 years prior, beginning to build a nest! He again kept track of all the progress. He logged the date that he first saw the eggs and estimated 3 weeks when the babies should be flying away. Now for the exciting part! Just this morning before he left for an appointment he saw the two, healthy, 3 week old babies in the nest. They were due to leave last Monday, but were still there. I arrived at the house this afternoon and while walking in my grandmother told me that one of the birds had left the nest. Our whole family had of course also been keeping up with the news on the babies progress. I went out to the back yard to see the nest and to my horror saw that one of the babies had fallen out of the nest! The twist to the story is that it had not landed on my grandfather's homemade net (which he designed and placed under the wind chime just in case an incident like this one would occur) but was hanging from both of it's legs that had gotten stuck to the spider web on the nest. The baby was chirping and I quickly got a ladder and a spoon to scoop it up and also some nail clippers to free it's trapped legs. I did just that but one of the legs I could not get loose and I had to leave the baby in the nest pecking at the web that was attached to its little leg. In all the commotion the other baby had been frightened and fell, or glided down to the ground. After making sure the bungee jumping baby was out of harm, I quickly grabbed a measuring cup and a pot lid to get the other baby back to its nest also. We were all relieved when it was over and both babies were back and the mommy had come to feed them.

To our surprise the ordeal was just beginning. The baby with its trapped foot was still trying to get loose and the Mom had also been pecking at the web to free it. While they were both working on that, the other baby decided to give flying another try and flew into the lemon tree just outside the patio. We were all excited to see him fly for the first time. The mother continued to feed them both, which looked like a pretty tiring job! My grandmother and I left for the store and upon our return the little bird was no where to be found, while the other one was still safe and sound in the nest and had gotten his leg free from the web. I walked up to the back door and all of a sudden the mother started buzzing around my head, very close to me. I walked around the back yard looking to see if I could find the other little baby bird. As I stopped and listened for a minute I heard the baby, (I was able to recognize it because it was chirping the first time it had fallen to the ground) and it sounded like it was coming from a near by bush. I went to the bush but could not find the bird. I decided to sit and let the mother show me where the baby was when she flew down to feed it. As I sat there I realized, by the mother again frantically flying around me, that she too did not know where her baby was! It was kind of funny because we were all looking for the little bird, even the mother!! My grandmother eventually pulled two of the leaves apart from the bush and saw that the baby was stuck, wedged between them. We again carefully removed the bird from the bush and set it on the grass. The mother quickly flew to her little one and began feeding it.

The baby rested for a while and has just recently began flying away. We believe that the other baby will still be in the nest for another few days because it was just a bit smaller than the other one, but it seems to be doing just fine. All in all I think we could say it has been quite a day. First saving sky diving and bunjie jumping birds and then doing a little search and rescue, and finally watching our little one begin his life in the wild!

We have just moved to a new home in the country, lots of woods and open space. I was cutting the grass using a riding mower and wearing a bright red ball cap. During the course of the mowing, I was "buzzed" on at least three different occasions by hummers. I finally realized what was happening, went inside and got a feeder (we had moved from the old house) and hung it up (off of a dinner bell on the back deck). To attract the hummers I fastened my red hat above the feeders. Several birds found it almost instantly. I have put up 2 additional feeders using the same hat to help the birds locate them. We now have hummers from sunup to sundown, at times up to a dozen around the feeders. They go through a lot of nectar. They are a pleasure to watch, simply fascinating creatures. I am a retired aeronautical engineer and I find the ability of the little bird to hover and fly in different directions truly amazing. As you may know, the symbol of the American Helicopter Society is the hummingbird. Discovered you web site while trying to learn a little about the bird, it is informative and useful. Thanks.

Gary, near Grafton, Illinois

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13.  Hummingbird in the Dish Water

One day last summer, I walked out on my porch and there was a humming Bird lying on the floor. It was stunned. I figured it had flown into the window and fell. I picked it up and it just laid there in the palm of my hand. I took it inside and put it into a plastic bowl with a paper towel and set it up in the window. I proceeded to wash the dishes when suddenly my little friend decided to fly but he was too weak he fell into the dish water! I picked him up out of the water took him into the bath room and washed the soap off of him. Then dried him with a towel. I put him under a basket and put a little feeder in there for him. I was thinking he may just need some nourishment although I doubted he would survive the dip in dish water. I did one more thing. I prayed for my little friend and thanked God for an opportunity to see a humming Bird up so close. I had no idea they had little eye lashes!

Something woke me that night. It was my little friend buzzing around in his basket. He was feeding from the feeder and he looked much better. The next morning, I took him out in the back yard to let him go. My mom lived behind me and she came over to say goodbye to our little friend. I opened my hand and he sat there for a second and then flew up into the tree above. After about one minuet, he came back and hovered just in front of my face as if to say thank you and went back up in the tree. For the rest of that summer, my little friend came to visit many times. He would get very close and just hover over me for a few minuets. The kid's told all their friends that I had a pet Humming Bird and they would come over to see if he would come while they were there.

This little bird was a tough one or it could have been an answer to a prayer sent up for one of God's little creatures. I think it was the prayer.

Teresa

 

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 14. Acceptance

On August 1, 1991 my mother Alease passed away. I was over three thousand miles away in a foreign country. I could not drive home nor catch a bus, boat or train only air travel. The time I spent waiting and wanting to get home felt like forever.

I finally arrive home to the USA the day before the funeral. I was very depressed. So depressed that I disassociated myself form my husband and children. The next day we buried my mother. Well as sad as things were for my they became very crazy. I woke up the next morning laughing, I laugh so much that I thought I was insane. I real thought that I was on my way to the insane asylum. l contacted my grandmother and asked her what was wrong with me, My mother has just passed away and I am laughing , am I going mad. She stated that I was not going mad that I had accepted my mothers' death. I was looking out a glass patio door and recall so well seeing a hummingbird fluttering its little wings. That was my first time ever seeing a hummingbird. I believe that was a heavenly sign.

Tyler


 

 15. Saved by Azaleas

Here in Houston, we are right on the flyway for these little creatures. I usually hang around 10 feeders during migration and last season we had more than ever before. I have often rescued the little guys from trouble, like getting a beak stuck in the screen door, getting caught in spider webs, hitting the glass, etc. but the toughest rescue took over 2 hours to pull off. Early in the spring, one of the hummers managed to fly through my open patio door as I was walking out to water. Having clear-story windows at the top of the vaulted ceiling, naturally, the little fellow was beating himself against the windows; completely oblivious to the open patio doors below him. It was becoming clear that my coaxing and cooing was having little effect and I knew he would kill himself eventually. I ran to the garage and found two long poles that my husband has for an unfinished project. I quickly looked around and saw the white azaleas that were in full bloom. I pulled two nice branches, loaded with flowers, and attached them to the poles, which I laced together to make a very long stick. Now I had the instrument. If I could convince the little fellow to get on the azaleas, he would have a chance. It took about 40 minutes of carefully approaching his body before he finally rested on the branch, but when I started to lower the poles, he flew back into the windows. Finally, after another 15 minutes of agonizing, he lit on the branches again and I was able to very slowly lower the pole as I backed out the open sliding glass door! He sat stunned for a few minutes, then took a few sips of nectar off a nearby feeder, buzzed me several times and happily took off. It really is a great experience to help such a wonderful creature.

Robert

 

16. Lost Baby

When I lived in Southern California, I lived in a large two story house partitioned off years earlier into 7 dwellings. We all knew each other and spent the warm season holidays together barbecuing out in our well flowered yard... During one Fourth of July morning, one of the tenants had noticed movement off to one side of her in the grass. She examined it, and found a baby hummingbird. It was so cute and so funny because it already had a long beak, but its tiny emerald colored body was just a small, round ball of feathers...she didn't know what to do with it, so she took lots of tissue and put the baby bird into a small basket with the tissue and placed it into her bedroom. Hours later, we were about to eat and I noticed a hummingbird hovering nearby us. I realized all at once it must be the mother searching for its lost baby! I asked them to bring the hummingbird in the basket outside! Lo and behold, it was the mother. We hung the basket by its handle up in one of the pine trees in the yard. Immediately, the baby perched it's tiny little feet onto the edge of the basket and the mother fed it and nurtured it for a few days till it finally was able to fly off...it was so amazing to experience this...the weirdest part of this story was that just before the woman had discovered the baby hummer leaping about in the grass, she was just about to ask her husband to mow the lawn!!! God works in wonderful ways...

Robert

 

17.  Life in a Margarine Container

For days, we had observed two little beaks poking from the tiny hummingbird nest in our Magnolia and were looking forward to some action. One morning, I was horrified to find one of the babies hanging by a single leg from the nest. A half hour later, my husband carefully detached him and, unable to put him back in the nest (his sibling filled it and wasn't budging), brought him into the house.

For five days, "Herman" lived in a margarine container padded with tissue, warmed by a nearby lamp (we set the outdoor thermometer nearby to keep Herman the temperature of a warm summer day). He avidly took sugar water every hour from an eyedropper.

On Day Five indoors, the baby bird began to suffer Malnutrition. He had started practicing shooting out his tongue to lick the eyedropper and no longer "opened wide" for the dropper. We noticed he was not eliminating solids anymore but expelling liquid waste only, and overnight he had lost a small patch of feathers on his chest.

We called a hummingbird hotline, and the volunteer said that only his mom could provide the proper diet as well as teach him to be as "mean" as he needed to be for his environment.

Just as we were preparing to head off to the wildlife center to take Herman in, his sibling flew up and away from the nest, and we quickly inserted Herman in his place.

Mom took over with no problem. Not only that -- the next day, when Herman was nowhere to be seen, mom flew to within a few feet of my face, did an agitated little dance, and then hastened to the ground where little Herman was sitting and buzzed around him a bit. Once again, mom fed him the instant he was returned to his nest.

For a few days, the scruffy-looking little bird could only fly a few feet, hovering a few seconds near a feeder or hanging onto a low branch for hours at a time. Mom fed him about every half hour, while the more-developed sibling fed himself nearby.

Often now when we take out a freshened feeder and call out, a little green hummingbird flies into the yard coming a little closer to us than he needs to before going to the feeder -- and we assume it's Herman.

Paul and Janis

18. Dead or Alive?

Sitting at the dining room table, I was watching the constant arrival and departure from my hummingbird feeder. There was ,however, on bird on the perch that continued to stay. There was no movement and I was becoming concerned. It is Dead? Then a flurry of wings. Another bird hit the motionless bird. It then fell backwards, still clutching the perch. Still no movement. It must be dead. As it hung, upside down from the perch, I slowly approached with my cupped hand. In a split second it revived and flew away. I have never seen anything like it. But was very much relieved that it was not dead.

-Peggy

19. Caught in a  Spider Web

My husband and I were out side doing yard work on a beautiful summer afternoon. We started to relax and look around and in our silence we heard a strange tapping in our carport (not a garage but an open carport it had three sides and a glass door in back). My husband and I curiously looked around the carport and found a humming bird beating itself against the glass door trying to get out, when that did not work it started hitting it's head against the ceiling. As it frantically flew around trying to find a way of escape, it suddenly flew into a large spider's web. To my amazement the bird fluttered in the web for a few minutes and then hung there in the web. It looked like it was stuck, I thought maybe it was trying to rest. I ran in the house just as fast as I could and got a yard stick and scooped the bird out of the web. As though to say thank you, it flew down and landed on my hand. I was so excited! I love wildlife and it is even more thrilling when you see it up close. The bird set on my hand for several minutes, until I was frightened by a wasp, then humming bird flew off. I am still thankful to God for letting me hold a hummingbird, it was a precious gift.

After this I was so longing for another encounter with a precious bird that I made hand held feeders out of old spice bottles (like McCormick brand). I use the ones with the bright red tops, clean them thoroughly, drill a small hole in the top, and paint a yellow flower around the hole. When I put the lid back on I put Teflon tape around the opening of the bottle so it won't leak. Lo, and behold, it worked and I get to enjoy them up close all season.

Stephanie from Forked Deer, TN

20.  Light as a Feather

Quite a few years ago, my family and I were vacationing up North where we have a trailer located in a trailer park near Huntsville, Ontario. We had previously built a sunroom, attached to our trailer, which had big picture windows that overlooked the trailer park and lake. I loved to sit there and observe the view of the lake and wildlife. One afternoon while I was sitting there reading a magazine, I heard a thud and realized that something had hit the glass window. I went around to the front of the sunroom and to my surprise, I found a male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird lying on the ground. Apparently the hummingbird hadn't seen the window, thought it could fly through and ended up hitting the glass. I bent down and gently picked up the poor little bird thinking that perhaps it had broken it's neck and died. It was the first time I'd ever had the opportunity to hold anything so delicate and precious as a hummingbird. It's body was as "light as a feather". It was as though I held nothing in my hand. I was also mesmerized by the iridescent colors of the red throat patch and green feathers of it's body in the sunlight. I had never seen anything quite so perfect and beautiful in my life. Suddenly my little hummingbird "came to" and within seconds, shot straight up out of my hand, into the air and over the roof of the trailer. Although this event happened over 15 years ago and our meeting lasted only about five minutes, I've never forgotten this experience.

Joan H., Toronto, Ontario

 

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