rescued hummingbird on my finger feeding at feeder
On a recent morning when I got up and started towards the door to my porch and yard, I discovered a hummingbird flying around the ceiling in my front room (living room). The poor thing was flying desperately around the ceiling and then perching for a while and then flying again, but it never went near the open door. I knew if I could not get it back outdoors, it would die from lack of food. Hummingbirds need to feed frequently to sustain flying. I was getting the impression that this one might be running low on reserves.
I shut the door to the rest of the house, so it wouldn't get deeper into the maze. Then I thought about how to get the bird outdoors. The ideas that came to me were trying to herd it out with a dustmop (a method I'd used sucessfully with other birds) or lure it out with a red item on top of a long stick or , last resort, try to catch it by hand. I didn't have a butterfly net, which would have been a good choice. The very last resort would have been to hang a feeder inside the room so at least the little bird could re-fuel. Then the feeder could have been moved closer and closer to the open door.
The red lure did not work as the bird would orient to it only briefly. (A feeder attached to a long pole might have worked better.) But when I got out my "webster" cobweb remover, which is a softly-bristly thing on a long pole, to try to use it to chase (herd) the bird towards the open door, the bird latched onto it. It seemed to be somewhat stuck to the webster by cobwebs on it. That let me take it outdoors. Since it couldn't seem to detach itself from the webster, or maybe it was too tired to try, I very cautiously and gently used a finger to get it to transfer its tiny feet to my finger. It clung to my finger. I took it up next to the feeding port on one of my feeders and it drank a lot, then rested, then drank , and so on. I got the impression it badly needed this re-fuel. I gently pulled off the bits of cobweb from its feet and body. Soon it was able to preen its own wings. When it became obvious that the bird was not going to leave my finger at any time soon, I was able to step back into the house to get my camera. Later I took it to some of my flowers to drink. After maybe half an hour of rest and drinking, it was recovered enough to fly away.
It was a very small , either female or immature male as it had no throat color. I'd guess a Black-Chin, but it could have been any of a number of species. I'm told Anna's is the most common species in my area, but adult female Anna's have a bit of color at their throat, and this one did not. Quite possibly immature, regardless of gender.
The two best photos are shown here.
rescued hummingbird on my hand feeding at flower

site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 9/10/09 revised 9/27/09
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