Hummingbirds – A Rescue Story

 


It won’t be long before hummingbirds will be back to the area. I could sit and watch them for hours. It doesn’t seem possible their tiny wings move so fast they are hard to see and their ability to dart around as they do is amazing. I always knew they were tiny, but I never realized just how tiny and delicate they are until I rescued one.

On a summer morning I kept hearing an odd sort of buzzing noise I couldn’t identify. It turned out to be a hummingbird badly tangled in a spider’s web, struggling to get loose.

I carefully caught him, very worried I’d damage his delicate wings. He was so tiny I could close my hand around him, with nothing more than his long beak sticking out. The little thing was exhausted. It took some time but I gently got all of the spider web silk off of him.

For a few minutes he just sat on my open palm, seeming rather disoriented, which I imagine he was after what he’d been through. Eventually he started fluttering his wings and then took off, although he hung around the general area for quite some time.

It was an experience I’ll always treaure – not many people ever hold a hummingbird in their hand and knowing I probably saved his life still gives me a warm feeling.

Please be advised that it seems to be against the law to hold a hummingbird (or anything connected to one – eggs, nest, etc.) without a proper permit and training. The situation I faced was an emergency where time was running out for the tiny bird. It was obviously weakened from it’s struggles and in my heart I knew if I didn’t do something immediately the bird would die. The web appeared to belong to a garden spider, although I didn’t see him at the time, and had it gotten to the tiny bird it would have been all over.

Please, if you have hummingbird feeders, research exactly how to make the necter mix for them. Too much or too little sugar can be harmful to these beautiful creatures.

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