by: Tim Stanley

“What is that on the screen door – I think it’s a hummingbird”

It was a female Anna’s hummingbird with her long bill imbedded in the screen and was barely holding on by her feet too. She was motionless, though she seemed to be alive.  I opened the glass door very carefully, as her bill was protruding through the screen quite close to it.  I then pushed the screen out a little, slowly opened it just enough to get outside.

Rescue.  hummer close

Our little friend was indeed alive, but all the fight had left her. I knelt down and carefully took her in my right hand and worked to free her with my left.  Her bill was held firmly by the screen so I very cautiously held her and got her off.  She lay with wings spread out in the palm of my hand—a jewel if there ever was one.

Her back was a deep green and her wings were an opaque grey. Her head was grey and her throat was off-white with a touch of brown at the edges of her bib.  Her eyes were black, but full of expression. She was alive and aware of her surroundings.

Deborah got me some honey water as we hoped to revive her.

Our friend began to move slowly into a sitting position with her wings drawn into her body. I was tempted to pet her—her feathers were a bit ruffled and looked so soft—but I held back. A few of the red light feathers on her throat were on.

I dipped my finger in the honey solution so that a drop formed on the end of my finger. I slowly brought it next to her bill, but she would have no part of it and turned away but she at last took a little, and then a little more.  In about a minute she stood up on my palm. I offered her some more, and again she took a very little and then fluttered her wings just a bit. She was gathering strength. In another minute or so, she fluttered her wings again and hovered about 10 inches above my hand for a few seconds.  She then landed on my finger just as a trained bird would do.

The whole time she showed no fear whatever. Her heart was not racing, nor did she make any movements that showed the least bit of nervousness.  After resting on my finger for another minute or so, she again took flight but she hovered within inches of me for quite some time.  First she went up toward the corner of my left eye and hovered there.  I moved my head a little—so she moved around and hovered next to my ear for a while.  Not wanting to frighten her, I didn’t move.  She then slowly came in front of me and hovered about three feet away, and then flew away.

Deb says she was kissing me saying “thank you.”