Thursday, September 9, 2021

Help for a hummingbird

We have loads of hummingbirds around us. As far as I can tell, they're broad-tailed hummers.

Early one morning as I was working on my computer, Mr. Darcy was outside on the deck. All was quiet and peaceful. Suddenly I heard a soft "thunk" and looked out to see Darcy staring at something under the window. To his credit, he didn't pounce. He just stared.

I went out and this is what I saw.

A female hummer had smacked herself unconscious. Or dead. Wasn't sure which.

In all the years I've kept hummingbird feeders, I've never known a hummer to hit a window. I guess there's a first time for everything.

I got a plastic bowl with a lid as a recovery cage, and gently picked her up. I was relieved to see she was still alive, though I wasn't sure how injured.

I put the lid over the bowl but didn't snap it down (didn't want to cut off her oxygen) and brought her indoors, where I left her alone for about 10 minutes. Then I carefully lifted the lid and she started buzzing her wings.

I took the bowl outside, lifted the lid, and she zoomed away instantly. Good!

The only thing she left behind was some droppings. Because of their mostly liquid diet, hummers dribble urine almost constantly.

I washed the bowl and went about my day.

So, hopefully, did she.


  1. I had several birds smack into my living room window due to it having a solid dark blue curtain, which must have looked like the way to depart. I hung a lace panel in front of the solid blue, and the smacking stopped. The lace let them know this was not something to fly towards.

  2. I have never seen one hit a window either. How fortunate you were nearby!

  3. Ahhhhh..... that is so sweet that you helped a Hummer!
    I'm getting a bit sad because our Hummers are about to head South for the winter. But I know they will be back in the Spring.
    Happy to know there is one more happy Hummer flying around.

  4. At my house birds smacked the window all the time. Here, they never do. I am so glad you helped it to recover without Mr. Darcy pouncing.

  5. That happened at our house in Colorado 9,000 feet above sea level more than 16 years ago. The hummingbird was so light that I couldn't feel it's weight in the palm of my hand. I wasn't sure of it's condition, but held it for 45 minutes. It took about 5 minutes to get itself together enough to fly away once it started moving. They are fascinating.

  6. I had one fly into my "no see-um screen. I heard a low buzzing and there it was with it's beak stuck in the screen. I just gave the screen a little flick and they went about their business.