Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A hummingbird in hand

This morning Andrew left early to go to the lumber store...well before 7 a.m. I went into the barn to do throw some laundry in the washing machine, and as I turned on the lights, I heard a hummingbird buzzing overhead, trapped inside and panicking.

I've watched Andrew get out the ladder and carefully catch the trapped hummingbirds in his hands many times, but had never tried it myself. They fly into the barn a lot. There's a purple sage in the doorway that they like.

I glanced around and didn't see the ladder inside, and stood there trying to decide what to do. I've always been a bit afraid of hummingbirds, despite their size. Their wings look so delicate, yet those sharp beaks flying by your head at speed...I haven't been impaled yet, but it seems inevitable it will happen eventually if there are enough hummingbirds around.

I decided to just leave it there, with the door open, and hope it found its way outside soon. If it was still there when Andrew got home, he could deal with it. I started to leave, but then it swooped down lower to the window, where it was plastering itself to the glass. I watched it from the outside of the window, and it looked at me. I know you'll say I'm imagining it, but I swear, it looked very sad. I had to try.

I went back inside and came close to the window. It fluttered around a little bit, but it didn't leave. I slowly cupped my hands around it, and was amazed that it allowed that without even trying to get away. It must have been rescued before by Andrew (he even saved one a couple nights ago), because it seemed to know what to expect.

Then it was in my hands. It felt like a large bug, and I could feel its tiny feet on my skin. I tried to touch it as little as possible, yet wanted to feel every sensation I could while it lasted. I stepped outside the door, and the cat was at my feet immediately, meowing. I slowly opened my hands, and It was lying on its back, wings outstretched! I tenderly tried to flip it over onto its feet. It worked. It stood there on my palm for a millisecond gathering its wits, and then flew off.

That was an exciting way to wake up.


  1. Good to see a post from you!

    I rescued many hummers from the barn, some have not been so lucky and it makes me sad.

    Did you read my post about the gophers? I think we have them under control at last. I've never seen hubby so excited about anything I swear. I reminded him I tried to tell him years ago that he needed to take Andrews approach. Maybe next time I tell him something he will listen. :)

  2. Lucky you, holding a h.b. sounds nice. I have a trick for getting them out of the garage--I put something bright red in the doorway, and they go to it and then I shoo them on out.

  3. Janeywan, that is great! I'm glad to hear he's having so much success. We haven't been trapping much lately...the gophers are getting the best of us.

    Gnome, Thanks for the tip! I will try that next time. Andrew likes holding them so much I don't think he'll want to stop.