Monday 6 May 2013

Resuscitating a Hummingbird

    Saturday night, when I returned home after working on the waterline, Joan told me there was a hummingbird trapped in the greenhouse.  It was fairly dark, but I went out to check.  I figured that since it was night, the hummingbird would be roosting on one of the wires or beams of the greenhouse, but I couldn’t see it, so I assumed it must have found a way out.
    The next morning, when I went out to the greenhouse, I noticed what looked like a dead hummer laying on the ground.  I picked up the ruffled little body, it moved a little, so I knew it was still alive.  It’s eyes were closed and I didn’t have much hope that it would survive, but I took it over to the hummingbird feeder, and thought that maybe I could get it to drink some of the sugar syrup, and that would give it some strength.
    I tried to put it on the feeder with it’s needle-like beak in the syrup, but it couldn’t even stand.  I just positioned it, lying on the feeder, with its beak in the sugar water.  It was very inanimate, it wasn’t sucking the syrup, so I tried massaging its tiny body, and blowing on it.  It did sort of respond, but still wasn’t eating.
    Joan got a syringe without a needle, and we drew up some of the syrup in it.  I closed the hummingbird up in my hand to warm it, and again put the syringe and syrup to its beak.  After about a half an hour of this, I noticed that it was sucking in the syrup.  It began to move more, and its eyes opened for the first time.
    Eventually, as its strength returned, it began to struggle, to free itself.  I let it try to fly, but it kept nose-diving to the ground.  I checked to see if one of its wings was broken, and discovered that one of its long wing feathers was, for some reason, stuck to the rear part of its body.  I gently unhooked it, and then the hummingbird tried to fly again, and this time it was successful. It buzzed into the air and flew away.
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