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Hummingbird Revival

| 7/25/2011 9:38:21 PM

A photo of MaryIt was a very hot high humidity day. I was working on a new iris and daylily bed when Mom called from her house that she had a hummingbird in her garage.  As I walked into her garage, she said it must have flown out as she didn’t see it.  I started searching around her garage and it slowly fluttered over my shoulder and ran into the wall, slid down and then flies up toward the ceiling and then flew into the wall near the door and fell behind her rolling garbage can.   I pulled the can away from the corner and the little male was lying on its back, with his eyes closed.  I picked him up and he was so limp. I cleaned the webs off and Mom kept saying he wasn’t in here long.

I had Mom run water over my hand while I held his beak in the water stream. Shortly a tongue came out with just a little wiggle. I decided that the little guy needed something containing more energy than water so I ran over to my house to my hummingbird feeder. Well actually a fast walk, well maybe more of a labored walk since I was also over heated and still needing knee surgery.  I couldn’t get his beak down into the port of the feeder, so I tilted it and dribbled it slowly down his beak.  After what seemed several minutes, I saw a flick of his tongue and he started lapping in the sugar water.  Eventually he opened his eyes. I would let him lap a little bit and rest a little as I didn’t want to overfill him. I didn’t realize how long a tongue they have, and his was lapping up the syrup much like a cat would. Eventually he started sitting upright on his own in my hand and looking around.  I fed him a couple more times and he seemed to enjoy the hand feeding.  Another male flew up wanting to feed, and as I look toward that one to get a picture, the little guy in my hand flew off.

With the flowers on the decrease, the hummers are hitting the feeders heavily getting ready for their migration back to south of the border. Don’t use the colored dye sugar water in your feeders. Make your own by using 1 part of sugar and 4 parts of boiling water. Cool and place in your feeder.  The red on the feeder itself is enough to attract hummers.


The weather has been either hot or hot and humid with little rain. I still have a few late season daylilies and some in rebloom. I’ve been mowing the lower forty slowly for several afternoons trying to get the grass back down to a normal mowing height.  My new belt has been holding up just fine.   This week gardening takes a back seat to the W C Handy Festival. My back seat has several lawn chairs in it all week in case I run into someone needing a loan of a chair.  My favorite concert is the one this coming Friday night at the Tennessee River. Five hours of music and a new band coming out every 30 minutes or so.  Things aren’t on a strict time line.

Update on the Hooligans: I’m still working on the snake bite infection that Patches has. Instead of telling her to come, I finally wised up and just told her to stay, catch her and after spraying her leg would give her a biscuit. Now she looks for the biscuit each time. I had to take Blackie to the vet Saturday. She has an UTI plus a bladder full of stones. She is on a pH changing food and antibiotics. I hope that works so she can avoid surgery to remove them. Patches and Blackie’s mouse hunting hasn’t been dampened.  Levi is busy with guard duty while I’m working out in the yard.

Doug Kave
8/8/2011 12:31:23 PM

While building our house, we had the same thing happen. A hummingbird was unable to get out of the construction site and eventually became exhausted and dropped to the floor. I picked it up and placed a bottle cap of hawiian punch next to it's beak. Tongue flicked out and tasted it and then more, then it sat up and eventually flew away. It was a really cool experience helping a little thing in trouble.

Loren Young
8/6/2011 9:34:27 AM

I've often marveled at the way the hummingbird is so resiliant to nature's changes and habitat reductions. It's refreshing to see that people care about what happens to our feathered friends. Most of the time we hear and see the negatives, but this brief stop to this site fortifies the fact that many do care and our gratitude is to those who do.

Mary Carton
8/5/2011 7:52:03 PM

Wow Karelle 27 feeding stations. When I retire I'll have a bunch like that. I have a couple of friends feeding over a gallon of sugar water a day. Mary Ellen I have a hummer nest or two every years in a weeping peach tree near my feeders and I've yet to find the next.It has some dead limbs, but I wont' trim them for fear I'll get a nest. Charles I've been looking for my little fellow, but I have so many males I can't pick him out. It was such a great feeling. Thanks everyone for reading.

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