The Baby Hummer Who Crashed Into Glass!

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While busy reading your blogs, there was a very loud thwanking noise on the French doors next to me. I got up to see what it was and there was a juvenile hummingbird on the ground about 6 inches from the door. He was trembling violently and his right-wing was fully extended as if broken. I immediately closed one of your blogs (sorry about that) and googled what to do with a hummingbird who hits a window and breaks a wing. There was all sorts of advice from, “forget it he’s a goner,” to “pick him up and put his beak into the feeder,” to “pick him up and put him in a shoebox with a soft cloth and take him to an animal rescue provider.”
I didn’t like any of these suggestions. A juvenile hummingbird weighs less than a dime. I am like Gulliver the giant in the land of Lilliputians to this tiny hummingbird. If his wing was broken, which I thought it might be because he never retracted it, can you imagine how much I would hurt him by picking him up? Besides can you imagine how terrified he would be with a giant like me picking him up and sticking him in a box?
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I have always preferred approaches with the least amount of intervention and trauma possible for both animals and humans, and I wasn’t going to change with this poor bird. So without opening the doors, I sat by him, and that was the extent of my intervention. He watched me intently and I held his eye contact steadily. This lasted for around 15 minutes. It was a remarkable experience. You have to remember that I am always around the hummingbirds and they are quite used to me. They fly inches from my head.
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I was pretty sure that I was keeping this bird company as he died. His trembling convulsions got worse not better and he never retracted his extended wing. A raven was buzzing around and there was no way I was going to allow him near the baby hummer. So I waited. No change. I do know that hummingbirds need to drink every 15 minutes or so during the day and can die of starvation rapidly due to their rapid metabolisms. All the hummingbirds were in the bushes watching. Not one approached the feeder while this one lay injured. It was all quite still.
All of a sudden, with no preamble whatsoever, the hummingbird pulled in his wing, stood up and flew off to the oak tree where all the hummers hang out plotting their attacks on each other.
I was stunned. I went outside, saw him on the tree, and quickly came back inside because I knew he needed to make it to the feeder soon in order to recover.
An hour of so later I went to the feeder and took all these photos of him. He was absolutely unafraid of me and these are the closest, more detailed shots of a hummingbird I have gotten to date. You can see that he is a little worse for wear and still not completely fledged, but he is getting plenty of nectar.
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His wing is fine.
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Now is this a story with a happy ending or what?? Cheers to you from all The Holler hummers, and their happy human!

168 thoughts on “The Baby Hummer Who Crashed Into Glass!

  1. Pingback: Photography: Simple Hummingbird……or | SwittersB & Fly Fishing

  2. I was nearly crying before the end of the story when the bird suddenly snapped out of it, and then I was so relieved! He does look a little banged-up, but I’m so glad he made it and will probably recover. Because of your wisdom and restraint you and he were able to share a neat and precious bonding time!

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  3. Hi Cindy, thanks for helping the little hummingbird! For good advice on helping any injured or orphaned wildlife, contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. For the name of one near you, call Wild Friends at Best Friends: 435-644-2001, ext 4460. They are very friendly and helpful.

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  4. Gorgeous pictures. They are so close up to the bird. This reminded me of last week one of this cute guy came close to me and I first thought it was a big bee. I was so scare to move about but was relieved to see it was this cute guy humming close to my head.

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  5. What a charmingly beautiful bird, like something from a fantasy tale for example Alice in Wonderland or Willy Wonka. And this one has a happy ending too. He makes me think of a patchwork blanket haha! Lovely photographs capturing him, Cindy! Cheers.

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  6. I didn’t get that close… but while cleaning some debris from my creek – I had about a ten minute conversation with the great blue heron that had stopped by about 50 feet up or down the creek (I’m never sure the direction… is the water going away from you down) anyway it was nice.

    Glad your hummer is Okey-dokey.

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    • Great Blue Herons will come quite close and as long as you don’t scare them all is well. They seem to like our company. If you threaten them though, they use that dagger beak and aim for the eyes. This is what a rescue person told me when grabbing one for rescue that had adopted us. Wonderful birds!

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  7. Cindy, last time I confess I only looked at the pictures…….I just read the story and am close to tears,
    Me, a 70 year old macho, war veteran who is very careful about keeping my “soft side” under control is bordering on losing it !! Thanks for sharing this story and thanks for being there for the hummer.

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    • Now you have really touched me. How wonderful of you to react like this and to tell me about it. This is why I find blogging so rewarding. I get to meet people like you.
      THANK YOU everyday, in CAPITAL LETTERS, for your sacrifices as a veteran on behalf of all of us! We are so grateful everyday to our brave veterans.
      And thank you for caring about the hummer.
      Cheers to you my friend~

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