Friday, May 04, 2007

Hummingbird Rescue

Today, I fed a hummingbird. My husband and the kids found a ruby-throated hummingbird last night on the driveway. They put him in a shoebox with some sugar-water on a plastic spoon and left him for the night. We're not sure if his wing is broken or if he's concussed or what is wrong with him.
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I put a washcloth in with him and a stick for perching and a supply of sugar water. He looked pretty out of it this morning, wobbling and falling down. As the day progressed, though, he seemed to chipper up a bit. He's trying to flap and his wings are flapping pretty well but not fast enough for takeoff. I held the spoon for him and his little tongue is forked like a snake.

I called the Millbrook School's Trevor Zoo to ask if they did hummingbird rescue. I talked to Allan, the Assistant Director, and asked what to do. He said he might be concussed but it's hard to tell without seeing him. The concussion might affect his flapping, etc. He said to wait until morning to see if he makes it. If he had a concussion, he could die...or the stress of all of this could kill him.

I took some video and photos of him. The kids are calling him "Ruby." I hope he makes it!

Related: Ruby's New Home.


At 6:26 PM, Blogger RicTresa said...

Wow! What a cool thing you are doing. I hope the bird makes it. Good Karma to you..

At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, he's so cute! I really, really hope he makes it!

At 12:29 AM, Blogger emmerich said...

You can try adding a teeny pinch of tropical fish food to his sugar water for a protein fix. The right food for captive hummers is NEKTAR-PLUS which is made in Germany and is available through
(727) 938-1544.

I sure hope he can fly again.
Use only soft flannel, not rough terry cloth to protect the delicate feathers.

At 12:37 AM, Blogger emmerich said...

Almost forgot. Give him a skinny little twig to perch on. His feet are so small he'll get a better grip on something much much thinner which will also help him to hold on when he flaps.

I hope you have success with the zoo people.

Good luck!!!

At 8:03 PM, Blogger CarolynVB said...

Thanks for the advice emmerich...are you a bird doctor? I tried what you said (we have fish). He seems to not mind it.

He's flapping a bit better today. He's getting a little air...kind of laterally. I guess that injured wing isn't doing enough to get airborne.

At 5:53 PM, Blogger emmerich said...

Hello again,

We saved a little fellow with a broken wing and foot. He lived for 2 years after his crash but never flew.

Please let me know how you do with the zoo people and if you need to talk to anyone else. We're in NY too, so there may be some overlap.

I know it's sad to see your little bird earthbound, but don't give up. It's very kind of you to help him and the hummers are so feisty and full of life! You might want to give him a wire like a coat hanger secured somehow so it doesn't roll for perching. It's hard for him to flap if he can't hold on to a fatter stick. They have "bug feet"!

You may want to give him a little dish of water to bathe in. Like a 1/2" deep with a lip he can perch on. They love water. Is he preening yet? That is a healthy sign.

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At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also have recently acquired a hummer with a broken wing. Someone left it on my mother's doorstep in a shoebox (my mother raises birds of all kinds). I have been all over the internet trying to find info on how to keep the little thing alive. I would love to chat with you on the subject and see if you have success with yours. I am about to order the Nektar Plus but am hesitant to since it is so expensive. Do you have any other suggestions? My email is:


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