Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bummingherds of Hummingbirds

Found these pics on-line. The top pic is a male ruby throated hummingbird, the only hummer typically seen east of the Rockies. The bottom two photos show a slightly larger hummingbird. I held a male hummingbird once. My son Andy was out working in our barn when a hummer flew in, hit a rafter, then fell and landed unconscious onto the dog bed that was luckily positioned below. Andy came to the back door with his hands curled around something, and called to me, "Hey, Mom, look what I found." I thought that he was holding a little frog or a toad, so when he gently opened his hand and I saw the hummingbird lying there in his palm, I was very surprised! The little bird was still unconscious, and I remembered reading somewhere that when a bird gets stunned like this, you can put it inside a paper bag and then close the bag. When the bird regains consciousness, the dark will keep it calm and prevent it from flailing about. So we put the hummingbird in a small brown bag, then I checked on him every few minutes. Within about 10 minutes time, I peeked in at him and he was awake, looking right at me with his shining black eye. I reached in and ever so carefully picked him up. He sat calmly in my hand. The hummingbird was so light, he felt like just a breath on my palm! I said to Andy, "I'll bet he's hungry after that adventure," and I brought him outside to the feeder, thinking he might take a drink. He looked around then lifted straight up out of my hand, like a tiny helicopter, then sped over to a stand of big pines where the hummers nest each summer in our yard. It was thrilling!

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