Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Last Hummingbird of Summer

At the edge of the woods.
It was a cold crisp morning at Frogbirds Farm. Kelly was in the shop, I was on my way to the pond with some food for the catfish and Aspen as usual was investigating the morning and all its wonders. She had already been down to the woods and back and the deer were feeding on the edge of the woods.

Female Rubythroat Hummingbird
As I walked by the shop I heard the chirp of a humming bird and mentioned it to Kelly. He said he had heard it as well. I started back toward the pond when the chirp became a cry and when I turned I saw that Aspen had found something on the ground. She wasn't hurting what ever it was it she was just curious.  Kelly rushed over and discovered she had found a hummingbird. A little rubythroat female lying on the ground. He picked her up and she did not seem to be hurt but he said he could feel its heart beating very fast and she looked very cold and hungry and a little shocked to be in such a spot.

While Kelly held her I ran to my work desk in the basement to look for an eye dropper. Finding one I went back outside to the feeder and filled the eyedropper. I always keep one feeder filled late into September for the last of the travelers on their way to Mexico. She drank a little food from the eyedropper. Aspen tried to jump on Kelly's lap to see what it was going on but Kelly told her "No, Get Down!". She got down and went of as if to say "Oh all right, there are other things for me to find."

"There are other things for me to find."
I moved a chair into some sunlight and Kelly transferred the little hummingbird to me, so he could finish his work, but he came back often to check on us as we sat in the sun and she continued to feed out of the eyedropper. She tried to fly a couple of times but fell to the ground. She moved up my arm and nested in the crook of my elbow, keeping warm in my jacket sleeve. I was not sure if she would make it but at least if she didn't it would not end on the cold wet ground.

Figuring she was still cold, I moved the chair into complete sunlight and held her in my open palm.  The rays of the sun fell on her back and warming her. I hoped she would soon feel strong enough to continue her trip.  I could finally feel her getting stronger as she continued to feed. She drank with her little tongue lapping up the nectar. She tried to fly again and once again fell to the ground, but at least this time she landed right side up. I could tell she was feeling much stronger and warmer and at last she was able to sit up, with wings neatly folded. All of a sudden she took off like a shot, flying to the road then she soared to the sky. I called to Kelly but it was to late she was gone. It was so wonderful to see! I know she may not make it, it is after all a long way to Mexico but at least she got another chance. I hope she makes it.

Throughout all this we where so focused on helping our little friend get back in the air, neither Kelly or I thought to take her picture. I don't think we will need a picture to remember her by but I am sorry I don't have have a photo to share.

See you next Spring!
When fall comes our little hummingbird friends, who have given us so much joy through out the summer, have a long and dangerous trip to Mexico. Kelly and I felt good today, because we helped one along their way. On first seeing these little jewels of the garden, these beautiful little birds, they seem so delicate but indeed are very strong and brave. I will keep them in my thoughts, wish them a safe trip and look forward to their return in the spring.

Amanda and Frogbird, wherever he is:-)

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