Monday, November 21, 2005

Hummingbird Rescue

I just got home from another trip to Mississippi for business. I wasn't too tired, so I agreed to stop by this new high end lumber place with Martin on the way home from the airport. We were looking around at all of the beautiful wood, and then we decided to look at hardware.

We were in the clamp section and I saw this bundle of dusty spider web on the top of one of the clamps. When I looked closer, I saw bright green and a black beak. It was a little hummingbird that had apparently become entangled in a dusty spiderweb and had fluttered down from the ceiling in its struggle to get free. I thought it was dead, so I gathered up some tissue to wrap around it so I could take it outside and bury it. But, when I nudged it with the tissue, it sqirmed. The little thing was still alive!

I brought it to the counter and the clerk said this happened before and he went to go get some sugar water and a spoon. Meanwhile, I started detangling the spider web from the bird's wings and legs. There was as much spider web as there was bird! By time the clerk got back with the sugar water, I had the little hummingbird cleaned up, but he wasn't moving. Martin and I took him outside and sat on the tailgate of the clerk's truck. Martin shielded the bird from the sun and I started to immerse his little beak in a spoonful of the sugar water mixture.

The bird wouldn't open his eyes. I thought we had lost him because he wouldn't drink and he seemed more stiff then when I first picked him up. Still, I kept inserting his beak in a spoonful of sugar water every couple of minutes. Finally, the bird's tongue, which was thinner than a needle, came poking out of the beak. He lapped up a tiny bit of the sugar water, but it probably would have been a litre to you or I. We were thrilled!

Every few minutes he would drink more. After about 20 minutes he opened his eyes once and fluttered his wings. He was reviving! After that he drank heartily and finally opened his eyes as wide as they should be. He then looked around at Martin and I, and all at once flew out of my hand and into the sky. We watched him go. He flew over the building and disappeared into the distance.

Martin and I looked at each other and then kissed each other in happiness. Something special happened that day, and we got to be a part of it.