Saving a Hummingbird

I don't know what it is about our yard that makes birds want to come die here. Over the summer, my kids found several different birds in the final stages of life--two baby doves who'd been attacked by a larger bird and a young robin. Each time, my boys went to the rescue and each time the birds died.

When my boys found a dying hummingbird lying beside our flowerbed, I was very skeptical that we'd be able to help it. It looked like its wing was broken, so I told the boys to let it die in peace. Fortunately, they didn't listen to me.

They mixed up some sugar water and outfitted a box for the bird. Two of my boys were going camping with the scouts that night. Before they left, they each said a prayer that the hummingbird would be okay. That was the clincher for me. Now I couldn't let the bird die.

Through some internet searching, we figured out that it was illegal to keep a hummingbird and that we needed to hand it over to wildlife rescuers. The problem was that it was Friday night and none of the rescuers answered our calls. Meanwhile, we fed the bird several times an hour through a syringe. My husband and son even woke up in the middle of the night to feed it a few times.

By Saturday, we'd learned that there was one rescuer in our state who accepted hummingbirds. About this time, my kids got hit with the stomach flu and interest in feeding the hummingbird waned significantly. I was kind of hoping the wildlife rescuers would come pick up the bird, or at least answer their phone.

 It's a good thing that little bird is cute or I might have given up on her. It was fun to watch her little tongue go up into the syringe to suck out the sugar water. She started singing a little bit--just a few tweets. I'd never heard a hummingbird sing before.

By Tuesday, the bird was still alive, and I was the only one feeding it most of the time. The wildlife rescuers still hadn't answered their phone, so I drove the bird up to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah and dropped it off. They assured me they'd do their best to help our little hummer heal. I also learned that feeding the bird sugar water mixed with soy milk hadn't been the best idea. At least it kept her alive for four days. 

Since the rescuers at WRCNU never answer their phone, I'll never know what happened to our hummingbird. It was a sweet experience for me to be so close to a hummingbird for so long. I gained a new respect for God's creatures. We, as humans, are so much more powerful than we realize.


  1. Your husband had mentioned that you were caring for a hummingbird a while back. So glad to hear that it survived for so long with you.


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