Personal
Experiences
with
Hummingbirds

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Hummingbird Stories by People Like You

 

 

1.  A Hummingbird Comes Inside

I was sitting on my patio reading when I felt someone was watching me. I looked over my left shoulder and there was a hummer quietly hovering behind my head. As soon as I looked at it, the hummer began to scold me. I checked the feeder a few feet from me and it was empty. Three hummers would visit the feeder together. I was wearing a red dress that day when I took the 
feeder into the house through our enclosed patio. 

After returning the feeder and sitting back down to continue reading, I noticed only two hummers were feeding. Being concerned, I wondered if the one hummer had followed me into the house. I found it in the enclosed patio up in the 7 foot skylight trying to get out. I called my son and he scooped the hummer up in his baseball cap. 

I held and petted it and then gave it to my son. I told him to take him to the feeder before he let him go so he would know where he was. When he opened his hand, the hummer sat on his thumb which seemed like an eternity, but was only for a few seconds. What a thrill for both of us. 

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2.  Rescued from the Garage


One particularly hot, muggy Sunday afternoon, the kind to be endured more than enjoyed, the double garage door was open, as it is wont to be during various nameless projects. I reentered the attached garage
from the house and suddenly noticed a small bird perched on the crossbar of the motorized garage-door opener. 

I approached slowly and with caution, fully expecting it to fly away, out of the garage, as I neared. It in fact did leave the perch when I came within a few feet of it, close enough to recognize it as a hummingbird, about the size of a ruby-throated adult. However, rather than flying out of the garage, which would have required it to descend below the level of the horizontal open garage door, it flew upward, toward the sides and rear of the garage, the latter being the highest point of the garage. It seemed to have lost its sense of direction, as if it had sipped some bad nectar (is there such a thing, I wondered?) or perhaps was delirious from heat prostration. It would fly around the space like a moth, only to return time and again to a crossbar of the garage-door opener or the electric cord paralleling the bar.


I became concerned not only for its safety, but survival, and tried to coax it from the perch with a hummingbird feeder containing colored sweetened water, which I hung near the bird with a hastily-rigged wire hanger. No luck. I got down a folding aluminum stepladder and climbed within touching distance of the bird. It appeared to breathe with some labor through its open mouth. I had never been so close to a live hummingbird in the wild.  

It was clearly not tame. As I reached to grasp it so as to remove it from the enclosure, it flew off, leaving a few tiny feathers which wafted slowly to the concrete floor. I decidedly did not want to injure it, and sought other means of facilitating its exit from the garage to the
outside world. I left the garage door up and reentered the house, hoping my absence would encourage its departure.

A few minutes later I returned to the garage. There was no bird. While I hoped it had left, something told me it was still there. I climbed a wooden ladder mounted on the rear wall of the garage, hoping the bird was not far from the ladder, on a platform holding boxes, luggage, and other paraphernalia, which would make my job of finding it that much more difficult. My dominant wrist was still in a soft brace from recent surgery, making the climb slower and more tentative than usual.

As I reached the top of the ladder, I looked right and saw the bird on the platform within arm stretch. Its mouth was open, its breathing rapid and possibly labored. It seemed too weary for fright. As I reached
for it, I realized the precarious position I was in. I feared being struck by the bird less than injuring it, either during the attempted grasp or my descent down the ladder with only one free hand.

It moved slightly as my fingers closed around it. Rather than encircling its body, as I'd intended, my hand grasped one wing. It fluttered a bit as I went down the ladder as quickly as I dared. It did not try to hurt me with its rapier beak.

I rushed out of the garage. The late afternoon sun was aglow, low in the west. Forcefully, I tossed the bird into the air, hoping it had the energy to fly. I expected it to leave horizontally, perhaps weakly, to some nearby bushes or trees.

Instead, it rocketed straight up, perpendicular to the horizon, phototropically seeking the sky. I watched in awe and amazement, wondering at the expenditure of energy I was convinced only moments earlier it lacked. Finally, as it became a mere speck against the panoply of skylight, at least several hundred feet up, it veered horizontally and disappeared from view. I felt a thrill akin to what British poet Gerard Manley Hopkins must have experienced when he wrote, in a different context,
"The Windhover."

S. M. Chen

 

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3.  Spiders

I was working out in the yard today and heard the familiar whirring of humming bird wings. I looked around and saw a Calliope Humming Bird flitting
around a large rock wall that holds many spiders and there webs. The hummingbird flew to the cracks between the rocks nipping at the spider webs, moving from one crack to the next plunging forward and disturbing the web so that it shook. Then he would dart back in. I didn't actually see him pluck a spider but from all of his actions It looked as if he was tickling the spiders web to get them to rush out onto their web, were then the Hummingbird would grab the spiders and eat them.  Do humming birds eat insects? Or spiders? I always thought hummingbirds only drank the nectar of flowers. 

Thanks,
Mark Mahan

[EDITOR'S NOTE:  Hummingbirds need protein. They do indeed eat tiny insects, and they sometimes try to glean them from spider webs. Hummingbirds may also use spider web material for their nests.] 

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4.  Cold Weather

I guess everyone has a story to tell. Last fall, I believe it was the first week in October. All of the hummingbirds had left, or so I thought. It was very cold this one morning when I got up and there setting on the perch of the hummingbird feeder sat this very small hummingbird. This happened three days in a row. He was in the torpor state and after the sun came he would perk back up. I brought up your web site to see what to do and they suggested I use a sun lamp on the feeder and make warm food for him every morning. I did this and after three days he finally left. It was only 30 degrees. This is a very informative site.
Thank You. Linda Smith 

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5. A Dream

First I would like to thank you very much for your informative Hummingbird site. For years I have had questions about this bird. To begin with since I
was a small child, whenever I was in dire straights a Hummingbird seemed to appear right in front of me. I didn't pay much attention to this fact until 1988 when one of my brothers was killed, the pain was tremendous. Several weeks after his death I dreamed that a Hummingbird had flow into my house and up the stairs to my bedroom, it fluttered about around me, then started to fly back down stairs. In my dream I ran after it, telling my children to open the front door so that it could fly out uninjured, as we had glass on the screen door. I soon awoke and thought this was the strangest dream, because during the dream I had a sense that the spirit of this little bird was somehow linked to my brother. When I awoke, I went down stairs, my front
door was open, and there at the glass screen was a Hummingbird hovering in mid air trying to get in to my house.  From that point I began to pay attention to my visits with Hummingbirds and it always seems to be when I need to feel better or I need reassurance of some sort.  Please tell me what you think of this.

Deborah in Stockton

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6. A Baby Falls out of the Nest

Hello my name is Louise Cook and I live is Glendale Arizona, and this is my story I would like to share: 

When I found the tiny baby hummingbird on the ground I thought it was dead. Its tiny body no bigger than a jellybean had fallen from the half of an English walnut sized nest directly above. A brown shriveled up �bean� but still alive. Baby bird's heart was still beating, or maybe it was more like vibrating. Eyes still closed from birth and not a feather to be seen. I picked it up and brought it in to warm it up. I found a tooth pick and dipped it into a sugar water solution and touched its little beak, I could barely see its tiny little tongue lapping up the solution, but it was. I carried it around all day feeding every 20 to 30 minutes, even to the doctors office where my daughter, Julie was getting her booster shot. 

That evening I noticed that the one other baby bird in the nest was lifting its head but I couldn't see the mommy bird anywhere. I logged on to the Internet and found a site about hummingbirds. It said that humming birds eat every 15 minutes and that if I continue to feed the baby bird the sugar water that it would deform or die soon. Sugar water is fine but not after 24 hours. It had been 7 hours since I picked it up off the cold wet ground and the clock was ticking. I also read in the article on the Internet that if I had questions I could call a wildlife rescue [person] and ask. I looked in the phone book and found about 6 numbers of different wildlife organizations and began to call, one number then the next some even gave me other numbers to try. 

Then finally one lady said �call Raydene she knows every thing about Hummingbirds, even how to give an IV if you could imagine that�� I can't imagine, I'm shocked at how tiny a baby hummingbird really is. Well, I called Raydene it was about 9:00 P.M. I told my story and she said, �First, Birds can't smell so the old story about don't touch the baby bird or mama won't have it is an old tale� �Second, the mama bird didn't abandon the other bird in the nest. She is near by watching her baby to make sure nothing goes near.� This I couldn�t believe because I had not seen the mother bird all day, not once, and I had continued to watch off and on all day. Well, Raydene had a reason for that too. She said �The mama bird takes 3 to 5 seconds to feed the baby and she's gone to get more food� So she gave me the following instructions. Keep the baby warm overnight and don't feed through the night (hummingbirds go into a suspended animation state when sleeping) 

At daybreak put the baby back into the nest next to the other baby. Watch continuously for one hour for the mama to feed the babies. Don't look away for a moment because I could miss her in the 3 to 5 seconds it takes to feed her babies. Morning finally came, I peeked into the make shift incubator I had made for the Baby and, Miraculously it was still alive. I waited for daybreak and gently put the lost baby back into the nest. As I eased it into the nest it opened it's eyes and with the first sight of it's life looked up at me. While I was trying to be gentle which was difficult with something so tiny, I was attacked once again by mama buzzing at me and squeaking at me to leave her nest alone. Just as she had done when I discovered her nest by accident two weeks ago when I was trimming the Honeysuckle bush and came to close to her nest which brought the trimming to a halt. 

Quickly as I could I put the baby back in and went back inside to watch through the window to see what happened next. What a sight to behold she approached the nest and fed BOTH babies!!! I watched her come back and feed both babies 3 times. It worked !!! Now to observe and make sure it doesn't fall out again. If it does I�ll just pick it up, off of the several layers of cloth I laid under the nest to cushion the fall, and put it back 
into the nest. 

As I wait to see the story unfold, hopefully to a fly away ending, I peruse the Internet looking for more information on the most incredible creatures. It seems that two eggs are normal and the tiny little nest is made of down, plant fibers and spider webs. That was what I saw when several weeks before I watched with curiosity when I saw the hummer flitting about the webs pulling at them. Not only did she build her nest of webs she also stitched her eggs securely into the nest with them. So when the nest was tossed about in the wind they wouldn't drop out. The eggs are only � inch long. I couldn't help looking in the nest when I discovered it almost two weeks ago. I have learned Humming bird eggs require a 2 � 3 week incubation period then 3 weeks after hatching leave the nest. 

Almost two weeks have passed since the baby bird fell out of the nest. Having picked up the baby bird a total of 5 times and put back into the nest. It appeared that when the big brother started moving it eventually tossed baby bird out of the nest. Apparently it is common for the birds to be a week apart from hatching. Big brother has been sitting on the edge of the nest all morning. Baby bird is developing normally now and is still a bit smaller and younger than big brother. One day after sitting on the edge of the nest then the branch above for a short time, the oldest of the two babies has flown away on his own. Mama continues to feed the youngest baby every 15 to 20 minutes and then at noon spreads her wings to shade the baby from the direct sunlight for as long as it takes for the shade to come over again, about an hour. 

Two and a half weeks after the baby bird first fell from the nest and now�..The baby bird sits on the branch above the nest. As I look on in astonishment, this little bird actually lived through all the landings on the towels I had spread beneath the nest to catch him, he has survived and will soon fly away on his own. It�s amazing how saving one tiny little hummingbird can make you feel so good. I can't help but be completely amazed at how such a tiny little wild creature takes such good care of her young. The mama bird does it all by her self builds the nest, lays the eggs, sits on the eggs, guards them, shades them from the harsh sunlight, feeds them every 15 minutes, teaches them to fly and feed. According to the Internet information the average life span is about 4 years with some up to 12 years. 

Farewell my feathered friend. I�ll keep the hummingbird feeders full of fresh sugar water. 

 

 7 A Thud at the Window

My sister and I were watching a movie, when all of the sudden, we heard a large "thud" on our window, We jumped to our feet and looked out the window, and to our surprise we saw a poor little hummingbird lying on our deck. We were both sad, we took off running outside, to get to him before our cat Savannah did. I picked up his tiny frame, and his little eyes moved, so we knew he wasn't dead, but he didn't look well. So we raced him to the vet, got him all checked in, They asked for a name, and we said Peetree. They hooked him up to a breathing machine, and put him in a incubator, where he stayed for several hours. We called to check on him several times, and he was doing well. When we called to come get him, they had already let him go and he doing fine.
Mariah Mitchell

 

 

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8.  Happy Birthday

After finally adding a screen porch to the back of our Florida home, my husband and I set about building a garden to attract butterflies into viewing range when we enjoyed our mosquito free room. This was the second spring we searched out plants with butterfly attracter tags from the many nurseries around our town. The last two weeks in March, caterpillars had eaten all of the four foot high Milkweed and the unsightly stalks had become a trellis for some beautiful indigo spires. 

The day before my April 1st birthday, Sunken Gardens was offering milkweed at a fundraiser. Despite severe thunderstorm warnings we decided the hour drive was worth it to visit a favorite place and replenish what were obviously a good investment. We barely got the new plants in the trunk when the windy rain started, 
so we stopped for lunch and watched the storms progress from the restaurant T. V. It seemed to be hitting our neighborhood hard but quickly progressed to the next county. 

Arriving home, we rescued the plants from the trunk and passed through the house onto the porch rather than walk in the wet grass. We both stopped in our tracks. A small bird was flitting from blossom to blossom on the indigo spires and circled the bottle brush tree next to the porch before it dipped down out of sight on the far side of the garden. It was the first male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird either of us had ever seen. Its red throat and the black band that separated the head from its abdomen, were bold and bright colored. We both were astonished by the sparkling beauty. When we got our breath back my husband turned to me and said Happy Birthday! 

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9. Ponytail

One evening last week I went outside, just before sunset, to water the flower beds. I noticed a couple of irises had fallen over from the weight of their blooms, so I picked them to put in a vase. As I walked around the
side of the house I felt something buzzing under my ponytail. Thinking it was a bee or wasp that had buzzed me, I brushed my pony tail aside and continued walking. Once again something buzzed my pony tail so I stopped in my tracks because I was afraid of being stung. 

The "bee" came around me and hovered at eye level, that's when I realized I was being attacked by a
hummingbird! The little bird was very aggressive and I realized that I had inadvertently walked off with his dinner. I held the flowers out to him and he flicked back and forth between them for a few minutes. Before he flew off he confronted me at eye level again as if to warn me to keep my hands off his dinner! 
Donna Connelly
Oklahoma City, OK

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 10.  In the VA Hospital

Dear Folks,
No need to reply, but I have to tell someone what happened to me last Summer. I work in a VA hospital in the Hill Country as a housekeeper. From the time that I worked in a large pet shop I learned how to handle birds.  One afternoon while the patients in theAlzheimer's unit were at the lunch room, a hummingbird somehow got into the visiting area in the front. Poor little fella was fairly frantic trying to get through the glass door back to the patio outside, so I turned off all the lights and the tv. Not too surprisingly he settled down in the corner and I used a washcloth to pick him up carefully and held him for a few minutes in the dark washcloth to let him calm down. I may live a long time but never will I forget the glitter and sheer color of his bright gorget. From a ruby to a brilliant gold it gleamed and glittered, a RN came by and was amazed by the sheer beauty of the little jewel. When his heart rate evened up, I took him outside, slowly opened up the washcloth and for a second he sat on my hand and then took off to a large pine tree over the wisteria arbor.  Thanks for letting me share the magic of holding a living jewel.
Blessings, Marina

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11.  A Dying Hummingbird

My husband and I glanced out the window. Sitting on the feeder perch was a female hummingbird. She looked strange, very fluffy. We went outside and followed her to a near by bush. We were surprised to see how close this wild humming bird let us approach. My husband reached out and placed his finger beside the little thing. To our amazement she hopped on! 

We were very worried about her and took her back to the feeder and placed her on the perch. She ate a little, so we then retreated inside to watch. Another male hummer approached and started pecking her in the head, she didn't fight back and suddenly fell off of
the perch. We ran outside and picked her up. She was just a ball of feathers all fluffed out in a way we had never seen before. 

Suddenly she went limp in my Husband's hand, she died. For some reason my husband gently pushed on her stomach. Out came the smallest egg yoke I had ever seen and then a crushed egg shell. She had been trying to give birth and the egg was just too large. It was very sad but amazing at the same time to see a wild bird be so trusting, especially in her condition. It was a one in a million opportunity.

Junia Calhoon
Sweet Home Oregon

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12.  A Thump at the Window

A few years ago at my place of employment I'd gone outside on the patio. That I remember it must have been around a holiday because there weren't many people at work. While standing there I heard something hit the plate glass windows. It startled me because it was a pretty loud thump. Glancing on the ground expecting to see a large insect, I did see something larger, but as I got closer and bent over, lo and behold, it was a Ruby Throated Hummingbird! 

It wasn't moving so I gently picked it up cupping it in both hands and at this point I didn't know whether it had survived it's impact. No one was close around and I was so excited that I went back inside. I met one of my co-workers in the hall and I exclaimed that I was holding a hummingbird in my hand! I told her what had happened but she didn't believe me so I brought her outside, slowly opened my hands and poof! Off he flew leaving just a trace of powdery orange-red on a finger as proof that yes indeed, he'd been there.

Lyette Morris
Cleveland, GA

 

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13.  Watching a Nest

The short and sweet of our hummingbird story.
This hummingbird flutters around for a couple months just outside our huge windowed back door. She would stay in one spot looking in just to see what's going on inside. One day I am outside watering and cutting
rose bushes and see something strange looking. It so small. Looking closer at it was a nest. Then another day looking outside there is one egg in the nest. The mother sat on it and she left for feeding I guess. Another day there is another egg. So tiny in size. 

For most of the time the mother would fly away when the door would open. Then later on she would stay but didn't want you too close or she would fly away again. If she did fly and you were standing close to nest, she would fly around close to see what was going on with her eggs. 

Then we left for 9 day vacation, the babies are out of their shell. They get bigger and bigger each day. The beaks are so small and then all of a sudden they start getting bigger and bigger. I go outside and look at the babies and talk to them as if it were going to be their first step in walking. For awhile the eyes would open and not blink. Now I go out there and the eyes are wide open and just blinking away. They look at me as if to say "we're just about ready for flight, thank you for the use of your rose bush".

That is my story of once-in-a-lifetime, maybe, experience with a hummingbird. They are so precious.

- Reva Ladera Ranch, Ca.

  

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 14. In the Garden

I came to your site today to find out more on the needs of Hummers. I have been a longtime lover of these flying jewels and just this week had more reason than ever to find out more... 

I have a garden which after several storms needed some extensive work. As I was working away on my tomato towers, I heard a peep and was startled to look up and see a tiny hummer sitting no less than 5 five feet away from me.  I figured any move on my part would scare it off but as I continued to work, it would occasionally peep at me and try to feed on the volunteer petunias that were intertwined with my tomatoes. 

I could see it was having problems with one wing in particular, you could actually see the wings flapping, very unusual in the hummers of our area (South Carolina). Feeding looked to be burdensome for the little one and I could not resist a closer look...to my amazement, it was still content to perch and peep at me without fear... 

I quickly ran in to fill a small feeder with sugar water and came out to offer it. It seemed to me that the little one needed an easier way to feed. I propped the feeder up amongst my tomatoes and continued on with my work...well, soon I was inspired to actually hold the feeder for the little one and that I did... Imagine my wonder as I held out the feeder and it fed without fear, that is when I was close enough to notice the chunks of white sticky stuff on it's feet. So I reached out and gently scraped it off with one fingernail...that is when my little friend perched on my hand! I was then feeding and holding the little one! Now, I have held feeder's out and away from myself as a youngster and had hummers fly in to drink, but this was a wonderment to me... I put the little one down - finally - and again propped up the feeder, I hoped that it would associate the feeder with food since it had ignored it before... 


Throughout the day, I would go out and check on the little one, feeding it by hand if it was there...finally, I went out and it was gone. I was a little wistful but grateful for the memory of it...all of the sudden I heard 
a peep and looked up to see a hummer zooming towards me then alight on the tomato tower I had been working on. It was the little one... It seems silly to think that this little one would recognize me, or that I had a special meaning to it as well as it to me, but when nature visits you in this way - it is hard to think otherwise. 

Now, two days have gone by since the little one came...and since that afternoon, we have had some storms and downpours - I did not expect after the 
first day to see the little one again. But who was awaiting me in the garden this morning? She (I have id-ed her through your site - a Ruby Throated 
female) seems stronger and now when she flies, I cannot count the flapping. She took to my hand once again and seems to know that the feeder is hers.
I came to your site originally to find out what more, if anything, I needed to do for her. That is when I saw the area for stories. 

This is a true ongoing story - on Independence Day of 2001 - in Aiken, South Carolina. 
It is with awe and wonder that I have held a living jewel!
 

  

15. A Yard Full of Baby Hummingbirds

On 3-11-01, I found a baby hummer on my brothers patio. His yard is full of huge oak trees. It was just getting dark so my sis and I put him in a shoe box with some dish cloths and I found this site on the net searching for some help. We made a formula of sugar water from the recipe we found and fed the little guy about four times before we retired. We decided to
call him "Hope"... 

We left him in the box on the washing machine for the night. The most wondrous thing was, we each had the thrill of holding him in our hand and getting a feeding on videotape. I put the box on the deck the next morning with the hope that his mom would find and feed him, and when we came home from work, sure enough, Hope was gone. He has left us though, with memories we'll never forget. 

Today,3-14-01, after returning from doing some
shopping, I went out on the deck to have a smoke and I found baby hummer #2. I got the video camera and just watched as the mom came time and again to feed the little guy. He would try his wings between feedings and
actually fly about 7 foot distances. He flew behind some garbage cans and I reached down to coax him back out in the open and he jumped right into my palm. The feeling was marvelous! To hold a bird that tiny in your hand is beyond describing. He let me stroke him and actually climbed up on my finger like a parakeet, when I put it to his chest. 

Again I retrieved the trusty old video camera and recorded the numerous feedings. Got a shot of him in my hand too...    :o)    I put him back down and backed off about twenty feet, and the mom was right back to feed him. This went on for several hours,
and I came inside for about twenty minutes. When I went back out he was gone. I named him "Faith"...

At about 7PM I went out to have a smoke, and danged if baby hummer #3 didn't come gliding down in front of me on the patio.... let me tell you this is a "happening" back yard. He went behind a flower pot so I went to
him put my hand in front of him and he hopped right in... Man this is fun!

I took him to the middle of the patio and put him down and he was reluctant to leave my hand, but I wanted the mom to be able to see him. He hopped up on a small twig that had blown down and waited for mom, who was there in a matter of minutes. He tried to fly twice and only short distances and each time I brought him back to the middle of the patio, and each time mom came and watched over him. Then he flew to the base of the tree he had fallen from and very patiently started working his way up the trunk. I helped him the last four feet and placed him in the bole of the tree and then I saw him fly higher, and disappear... I named him "Tenacious"...

Thanks for letting me share these beautiful events.

Jim from Odessa, Texas

16. It Landed on My Finger

Last summer I experienced the touch of a hummer on my finger and I was just in awe of God's creation! 

I was in the process of changing the nectar in the feeder and had set it on the concrete wall around my porch while I turned to get the hook. I heard the hum of a bird's wings and saw that a hummingbird had come to feed right where it was. I decided to sit on the wall next to it and see if it would still come. It did. So then I wondered if I held the feeder in my hands, would the bird visit again? 

I had the type of feeder with a yellow perch around the base, so I encircled the perch area with the thumb and forefinger of both hands and sat on the step to wait. Before long I heard the hum and the bird seemed to check me out thoroughly. It flew to each side of my head, stopping to look at me at different positions. Then I guess it was satisfied that I was okay and it perched on my fingers to drink. It was so thrilling! I couldn't even feel the touch of it's little feet, so light it was. The up-close detail was so neat! 

All summer long, I could do this and they'd come to me. I had never heard of this happening to anyone before so I thought it was a really unique experience. (I didn't know about your web-sight and the stories until just a few minutes ago). I spotted my first hummingbird of the summer just a couple weeks ago. It seemed they were a little late this year, as they usually come right as our hosta plants are blooming. I was wondering if they were coming at all since our hostas had been blooming about 2 weeks. When I saw one, I ran into the house like an excited child yelling, "The hummers are here, the hummers are here!" 

I have not had the pleasure of one lighting on me yet, as bees have been a problem so far, but I have my husband waiting for the perfect moment to snap a picture. People act like they don't believe this really happens. If we get a good picture, I'll send you one. I challenge your visitors to try this. It's one thing when they just "chance" upon you, but really thrilling when they come on purpose!
Annette Worley, Toccoa, GA.

17.  Tame Hummingbirds

Years ago, when we lived near the coast in Oregon, we had several large feeders outside our windows. We decided to not put up the screens until needed because of the insects. We would reach outside, take down the
feeders and wash, then refill them. 

Twice hummers came into the house and nearly broke their necks trying to get out. They soon learned that we weren't bad to them after all. They would just sit on the window sills, let us pick them up, and talk to them. They never tried to fly away, until we were outside with them or had put our hands out the windows. How we hated to put up the screens! 

Another time, my son was putting up a feeder, and the birds were very patient. His head was used as a bird roost, as were his ears. I only had one picture left in the camera, and tried to take a picture of him with "friends." His remark was: "Mom, hurry up, their claws are sharp
on my ears!" 

Unfortunately, the picture never turned out. It would have been so nice to have now. Never have we had that many hummers to feed, watch and been entertained by, or were their humans entertaining
them? How I miss those beautiful flying jewels.

Kathy in California now.

18. Hummingbirds Bless a Leukemia Patient

I was sent home in November of 1996 to die, according to all seven of my doctors, of a very rare leukemia. We live several miles out of Reno, Nevada,
in the high desert and I had never seen a hummingbird in my whole life. I was wheel chair bound and supposed to stay in the house, due to the 40 some odd pills I had to take daily, and the effect sunlight would have on my
skin. 

I heard from my Mother we have hummingbirds in our state. Due to the lack of flowers and the dry alkali lake bed surrounding us I doubted any hummers would come near this area. My husband went to the store however and purchased a feeder in the hope I would be able to see a hummer. He made the sugar water mixture and hung the feeder from a 4 by 4 post he buried in our front yard. We have never been able to keep trees alive in this alkali clay. We have terribly strong winds in this area and the wind kept emptying the feeder within an hour or so. My 16 year old son went out and, using stiff wire, anchored the feeder to the pole. 

Within two days we had several hummers feeding right in front of the living room window. I had to see them up close so I was helped into my electric scooter and out the door I went. I sat directly under the feeder and in minutes I was in the middle of an aerial war that was stunning to watch! Suddenly all the hummers stopped fighting and hovered right by my head. I talked to them as they looked at my face and made little sounds similar to a squeak. This went on for several minutes and then they went back to eating and fighting. Occasionally one would stop in front of my face again and I would talk to it. Never having seen one of these precious gifts from God I was beyond amazed and thrilled. My zest for life was renewed as I learned life still had more to offer me.

Over the years since the leukemia struck I have enjoyed the little beauties every summer. They will be leaving here soon, for it is August and they always seem to leave then. But, next year will come and once again I
will sit at my window and watch my little friends fly, feed, and fuss at each other. They have taught me to look for the good things in life. Now I know we have Golden Eagles, wild rabbits, huge colorful dragonflies, quail (with tiny babies) and so many other natural pleasures of this desert. 

I have also found this web site and take great joy in reading the accounts of others who have enjoyed the hummers. Even with all the hospital visits I still have something to look forward to when I come home. Thank you to all who have put up websites for us to enjoy, but this one is my favorite due to the readers who share their experiences with us.
Bobbie Prather

 

19.  The New Dr. Doolittle

On 08/30/01 I was at work all morning. It was finally lunch time, and since I live 4 miles from work I decided to go home and let my dogs out for some air and so they can do their business outside. It was sprinkling so I went into the garage with the garage door still open I decided to sit peacefully and enjoy the much needed rain. 

About 4-5 minutes latter I hear this weird noise coming towards me. I look up and it was a cute little hummingbird. It landed on the wheel of my mountain bike and just sat there for a few minutes. It flew up towards the ceiling but appeared to have problems with one wing. It now began to fly low with some problems and landed behind my husbands tool chest. Thank God it had wheels on it because I know I now had a hurt Hummer and could not leave it that way. 

I moved the tool chest and he just sat there. I had no choice but to reach down and pick him up. As he let me do this I knew something was wrong but as soon as I stood up with him in my hand he flew away outside of the garage under a tree. The rain really coming down I knew I could not leave him there for the neighbor cats to make a meal of him so I began walking to the tree and he flew away again very low to the ground to my neighbor's  yard. 

I stood in the rain for a few minutes trying to figure out what to do. I only had 5 min to get back to work I was soaked at this time but refused to leave him alone. 
My neighbor did not cut his grass that week so it was pretty high, but I could see this pretty green neck popping up and I knew I had to go get him. I walked in the grass and got up to him and picked him up. He was making the sweetest noise and I was amazed how light and cool it was actually holding a hummingbird. The poor guy had some spider web tangles in his precious little wing, so I removed it praying that was all that was wrong with him. 


Once the web was removed I really wanted to take advantage of studying his face and just be in awe of him but I knew he wanted to go and I was now 20 min late for work. I opened the palm of my hand for him to go and for what felt like 30 min was only maybe 10 seconds he sat in my now open hand. I thought Oh No I broke him or something, but then he flew away as high as he could into a near pine tree. 

I got back to work and explained to my boss what happened and she laughed and gave me a big hug and said she was a huge hummingbird lover and appreciated what I had done. I am now nicknamed Dr. Doolittle at work and that is ok, but the real cool thing about this story is this.....I have had my hummingbird 
feeder for 3 years now and only 1 of them years I got visitors from Hummers.   2 days after my rescue of the little hummer I now had 7 at one time at my old and new feeder. Now I am trying to learn more on these cute little guys so I can make my home  theirs. 

Melissa Dupuy 
Spring, Texas

20.  The Hummingbird in the Basket

When I lived in Southern California, I lived in a large two story house partitioned off years earlier into 7 dwellings. We all knew each other and spent the warm season holidays together barbecuing out in our well flowered yard...

During one Fourth of July morning, one of the tenants had noticed movement off to one side of her in the grass. She examined it, and found a baby hummingbird. It was so cute and so funny because it already had a long beak, but its tiny emerald colored body was just a small, round ball of feathers...she didn't know what to do with it, so she took lots of tissue and put the baby bird into a small basket with the tissue and placed it into her bedroom. 

Hours later, we were about to eat and I noticed a hummingbird hovering nearby us. I realized all at once it must be the mother searching for its lost baby! I asked them to bring the hummingbird in the basket outside! Lo and behold, it was the mother. We hung the basket by its handle up in one of the pine trees in the yard.  Immediately, the baby perched it's tiny little feet onto the edge of the basket and the mother fed it and nurtured it for a few days till it finally was able to fly off...it was so amazing to experience this...the weirdest part of this story was that just  before the woman had discovered the baby hummer leaping about in the grass, she was just about to ask her husband to mow the lawn!!! God works in wonderful ways... 

Robert Villegas 

21. A Unique Rescue

Here in Houston, we are right on the flyway for these little creatures. I usually hang around 10 feeders during migration and last season we had more than ever before. I have often rescued the little guys from trouble, like getting a beak stuck in the screen door, getting caught in spider webs, hitting the glass, etc. but the toughest rescue took over 2 hours to pull off. 

Early in the spring, one of the hummers managed to fly through my open patio door as I was walking out to water. Having clearstory windows at the top of the vaulted ceiling, naturally, the little fellow was beating himself against the windows; completely oblivious to the open patio doors below him. It was becoming clear that my coaxing and cooing was having little effect and I knew he would kill himself eventually. I ran to the garage and found two long poles that my husband has for an unfinished project. I quickly looked around and saw the white azaleas that were in full bloom. I pulled two nice branches, loaded with flowers, and attached them to the poles, which I laced together to make a very long stick. Now I had the instrument. If I could convince the little fellow to get on the azaleas, he would have a chance. 

It took about 40 minutes of carefully approaching his body before he finally rested on the branch, but when I started to lower the poles, he flew back into the windows. Finally, after another 15 minutes of agonizing, he lit on the branches again and I was able to very slowly lower the pole as I backed out the open sliding glass door! He sat stunned for a few minutes, then took a few sips of nectar off a nearby feeder, buzzed me several times and happily took off. It really is a great experience to help such a wonderful creature.
- Robert Wood 

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22. Another Rescue

I live in Wisconsin in the middle of 11 acres of all woods. I have feeder in front of my huge bay windows in my living room. Everyday I watch the hummingbirds drink, fight, and zoom around happily.


One day there was a huge storm that suddenly appeared. The sky got really dark all-of-a-sudden and the hummers were still out. My garage was open and the lights were on so that was the only light they could see. I also have that red garage rope that hangs down. The two hummers saw that and went in! 

Now I was inside the hole time and I was washing the dishes when I saw these two hummers flying around. I quickly went outside and grabbed the feeder and held it out in my hand. To my very surprise they came and started dinking out of my hand!!!  Now at that time I didn't know what to do about trapped humming birds. I left the garage door opened and went to bed. 

The next day I woke up and went to the garage. At first I didn't see them but then one flew out of the corner were the heater and pipes were, so I thought the other one got out. Then the other popped out and started flying around. Now I knew that they needed to get out so I got a ladder. When I came back I saw one of them drop in a corner. So I ran there and made my way there and hoping beyond hope that it wasn't died, reached down and grabbed it. I held, savoring the moment, and opened my hand. It flew out right there and then. So I popped my bubble of pride and went for the other one. I climbed the ladder and put my hand to the ceiling and cupped it. I then walked outside and let him go.
That morning I will remember for ever.

 

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