Stuck Humming Bird

March 9th, 2012

This may be one of the most bizarre things I have discovered in quite some time.

The Setup:

We typically have three humming bird feeders at our house and anywhere from five to 12 humming birds throughout the summer. Two of our feeders are within 10 or so feet of each other and over the summer a single small fat humming bird has claimed the one by the kitchen for himself. Over the past weeks he has scarred off anyone else who wants a drink from his feeder, So the rest congregated at the feeder close by.

The Story:

This morning, I noticed that this little bird was sitting at a rather odd angle and did not seem to be scarring off other humming birds.

He has a shorter beak and we figured he might be a juvenile or perhaps he had just ran into a few to many windows and needed a breather.

From about 9 am until noon the bird sat there. I snapped a number of close photos of varying quality.

Then things got interesting.

I thought, as long as this bird doesn’t want to move, I want to get as close as I can.

So I took a few more photos and then decided to climb behind the bush to get right up next to the humming bird feeder.

The small bird watched me, and when I got within a few feet I noticed he started flapping his wings rapidly, as if to scare me off.

As he did this a second time, I realized that this bird was physically stuck to the humming bird feeder.

I quickly called to my family and relatives inside and they came out to join the rescue.

At first we thought his feet might be trapped, but as my dad reached out his finger, we could see that his feathers appeared to be glued to the feeder. A slight nudge from my dad freed the bird from the feeder, leaving a patch of feathers behind.

The humming bird, who I will now refer to as Jeff because it’s a lot easier to type, flew a few short feet into the morning glory vine where he clamped on for dear life.

My aunt carefully pried him loose and held him while my mom got some water from the kitchen. We carefully set Jeff in the water to help rinse any of the sticky substance off of him. (We assume it was just some of the sugar water from the feeder.)

After helping Jeff wash off he walked on my aunts hand and arm for about 10 seconds while I snapped more photos.

Then, he shot off into the woods at full speed.

The Moral:

I’m really not sure what the moral of this story is. On one hand, there are probably arguments to be made about not feeding animals, but I think that is just silly.

From a human standpoint, I think the moral is to investigate strange activity and always have your camera ready.

The morals for a humming bird, are perhaps a bit more interesting. Don’t sit on something sticky for too long. Seriously, if something is wet, you maybe don’t want to stay there for any length of time. Because if that wet is sugary water, it might become glue.