Monday, September 2, 2013

A funny story

Can you spot the wildlife?
Today, in lieu of anything newsy or philosophical, I thought I would share a funny story from our weekend.  We discovered a hummingbird trapped in our garage.  It was very cool to see one up close, hear it hum and flutter around, but we felt bad for the little guy who was clearly hot, scared and not-so-bright.  We had all three garage doors open, but he just kept flying up to the ceiling. 



Eventually, we decided we had to help the little guy, so we googled it, and came up with this gem of an article from hummingbirds.net.  I have taken the liberty of bolding and adding my own commentary in parentheses.

There's a hummingbird trapped in my garage!

I get a couple of calls like this every summer, just in my own neighborhood.
Garage door releaseThe government insists that all garage doors have red emergency release handles. Unfortunately, to a hummingbird they look a lot like trumpet creeper flowers, one of their favorites, and they fly in to investigate. But hummers aren't particularly analytical and don't have a natural concept of ceilings, and when they get scared their immediate reflex is to fly straight up, which only compounds the problem. (Yep, it sure does)  In an hour, a trapped and exhausted hummingbird can starve to death. (WHAT?!) What to do?  First, keep pets and kids away so they won't make the bird more anxious, and try hanging your most popular feeder in the door opening and stand back. Sometimes this will bring a hungry bird to feed, and it may fly off in the correct direction when it's finished. (Nope) But this doesn't always work, and you shouldn't waste too much time - the bird's clock is ticking. (Oh man, what could be sadder than a dead hummingbird?) If the hummer isn't gone within 10 minutes or so, turn on the inside garage light, close the overhead door, and get a flashlight. When the hummer flies over a clear section of the floor, turn off the light. Hummingbirds have poor night vision (much like us) and don't like to fly in the dark, and the bird will flutter gently to the floor. (Nope) Turn on your flashlight, find the bird, and scoop it up gently in your cupped bare hands. (Right...) Have an assistant open the door, and carry the hummer away from the garage. Offer the bird a drink by holding it close to the feeder, but don't try to force it (while it sings to you, just like in Snow White) After it drinks, or refuses to drink, open your hands, and when the bird reorients itself, it will fly away - probably straight up (this part happened to be true...straight up into your face). It may lie still in your hand for several minutes, or it may leave immediately. 

As the evening wore on, it began to thunder and lightning and pour BUCKETS of rain.  There we were with our flashlight in a completely dark garage, chasing this 2 ounce bird.  To make things cuter and yet more horrifying, the little thing kept screaming (think of a muffled mouse shriek).  Hubby kept having little Disney moments where it would land on his finger, but would fly off again.  Eventually we did manage to get it into a box...and then had to figure out what to do with this little bird in the middle of a storm.  We decided to release him under the deck where he would at least be protected from the rain.  Hubby took the lid off the box and the hummingbird flew directly into his face before flitting off into the night.  We were drenched, but happy that we were able to save his life.  Because of course, ALL rescued animals always go on to live long, happy lives.  All those frogs I released, the baby bunnies, the worm(s)...

Nailed it.

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