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Hummingbird Rescue

June 24, 2016

Have you ever had to rescue a hummingbird?

This week a couple of our many hummingbirds decided that our open front door was an invitation to explore inside. They’ve been darting about just outside the door for weeks now, feeding on blooming Acanthus, Fuchsia and other tasty nectar sources.

Acanthus blooming

Blooming Acanthus is a hummingbird favorite in summer!

And, based on flight behavior and the chirping I know Annas do as they approach their nests, it’s likely there’s a nest not far from the door too — high in a Serbian spruce. So, it wasn’t terribly surprising that one would make their way into the house. Still, it was quite a worrisome moment. Never have I touched a hummingbird, let alone rescued one!

So, what happens when a hummingbird comes inside?

hummingbird rescue required

This hummingbird looks injured, but really she’s just a bit shocked to have met with a window – surprise!

Well, this pair both flew straight for our large windows, which stopped them in their tracks. And, whether they were stunned by the impact or simply surprised, both froze with wings expanded into a corner of the windows. The contractor working on our house gently gathered up the first and released it into the air outside. I followed, carefully lifting the tiny bird and cupping her in the palm of my hand. She was awake but remained frozen, likely playing possum. In fact when I opened my fingers wide outside the door, she would neither fly away nor latch onto the Acanthus in front of her. So I delicately set her inert body on the soil of a hanging planter, high above the ground where predators probably wouldn’t reach her. Yet, she still didn’t move.

Thinking this might be an interesting photo opportunity, I grabbed my nearby phone, began to focus it near her, and bzzzzt! she was gone.

Want to learn more about living and gardening with hummingbirds?

Join me on Saturday, June 25, 2016 at Swanson’s Nursery in Seattle for a free seminar at 10am. Seating is limited, so be sure to arrive early!

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