I saw a hummingbird fly from the cottonwoods down to the compost pile last night, and asked myself, “that makes no sense, what does a hummer want in the compost pile?” Apparently that was as far as this little guy (gal?) could fly. Mama didn’t appear. The fledgling flew away to the fence, then off toward the orchard. I went about chores. Then I heard peeping on the porch. He was thrashing around, trying to perch on an orange Home Depot pail. Not quite ready to be on its own.
After consulting Google-giver-of-all, R and I learned three things: the mother should be showing it where to find flowers for the first couple days, baby hummers need more protein than adults, and that bringing it indoors would be essentially illegal. The nearest wildlife rehab is a 5 hour drive, that wasn’t happening. So we mixed up an egg some sugar syrup and fed it with an eyedropper, gradually directing it to the feeder aperture (the fake flower drizzled with more egg concoction). Gobble, gobble, and then he fell asleep. When he woke up, he ate some more and seemed to perk up. The other hummers (mostly Black-chinned, so best guess is that’s what we have here) paid absolutely no attention to it.
Later, after the sun went behind the trees, we set the bird on the fence near the cottonwoods, clipped a feeder next to it, and hoped for the best. It was warm and not too windy last night, so it had a chance. But the last thing I expected to hear this morning at the front door when I came back from the coffee run was the “feed me” cry of this little guy again.
He was lying flat out on the ground, about 100′ from where we released him last night, close to the porch and the other feeder. I put him on his own feeder, mixed up some more egg and locked the cats inside. In between bouts of eating, he has the energy to keep up a constant peeping. He’s a toughie, and he’s going to have to be. With the drought, there are very few flowers this year. He’s got to figure out how to find some bugs. Now excuse me, the baby is crying.