Monday, December 19, 2005

The Hummingbird Story

After the last post, Seeker and I Wonder asked to hear how I came to hold a hummingbird in my hand. Simple story, really. One got trapped on my parents' back porch, having flown in through an open door, I assume. I thought it was a large bumblebee until I heard it chirping as it flew into the windows that line two sides of the porch.

I was unsuccessful at shooing it out, so I got one of my mother's large tea-towels and caught it , then gingerly transferred it into my hands and carried it outside. Once caught, it didn't struggle, even when I took it out of the towel. Instead it watched me with bright, interested eyes, chirping occasionally and cocking its head to see where we were going. It flew free when I opened my fingers.

Another bird story: A couple of springs ago I was reading in the bedroom when a resounding WHACK on the window interrupted me. Birds often fly into our windows in the spring and early summer, despite efforts to deter them. Usually they're only stunned and recover fairly quickly, but this time I noted the Great Golden Sun Cat not far away from the feathery inert body on the grass, so I went outside to intervene. As the GGSC hurried closer, I picked the bird up. It was alive; I could feel its heart against my fingers. After awhile it opened its eyes but still couldn't get to its feet, so I stood there by the rosebushes, the little grey bird with the black mask in my opened hands and the cat rubbing around my legs until the bird could (and enthusiastically did) fly away. Afterward, I looked it up. A loggerhead shrike.


Joyella said...

I had a bat trapped inside my house for about a week once. Every night, in the wee hours I would hear weird noises which seemed to be coming from all over my kitchen and living room. What's this, a burgler? It took 3 nights to figure out what it was, and then a few more to actually catch it in the act to set it free. I have no idea how it ever got in in the first place. I've also rescued birds from my parents woodburning stove twice. That's tricky business!

Randy said...

So, you already know I don't believe in coincidence...what deeper insight do you get out of these situations?

On a different note, this reminds me of a bad funny story about Rodger. I will blog it later.

seeker said...

Thank you for sharing the story.

Fieldfleur said...

brushes with the wild things, breathtaking (if they're not grizzlies -- I guess that could be breath taking too, though ...). Thanks for the lovely images.

Cindy said...

Joyella--Getting birds out of a woodburning stove, now THAT'S a rescue of skill! I'm impressed.

Seeker--You're very welcome.

Teri--I'm still hoping to see the pair of bobcats that live in the woods where I walk. Maybe someday. (The grizzly/breath comment made me grin and groan all at once. Most excellent.)

Randy--Looking forward to the story about Rodger.

Deeper insight? Hmmm...mostly in terms of the dichotomy between how I view myself and what I am truly -- that which I was created to be (and am, regardless of whether or not I see or accept it at any given time).

I_Wonder said...

Cindy, thanks for the story.

In southern Arizona is a man who, each spring, puts on bright red lipstick, fills his mouth with sugar water and stands motionless for up to 30 minutes until a hummingbird drinks from his lips. He calls it "being kissed by a hummingbird". I've got to try this some year. Last summer we had a few hummingbirds but the summer before we had about 18 that took up residence near our feeders.

Wishing you and your family happy holidays.

Connie said...

My nephew also held a hummingbird this past summer. The traumatized bird had flown into a window. Common bird behaviour. So it was stunned. Or playing dead. For a while, it permitted itself to be gently stroked by children's fingertips. Then, healed, it flew straight up into the pines.

Perhaps there should be an order of the hummingbird for those who have held this magical creature.

Cindy said...

Paul--That's fascinating. If you do try it yourself, let us know how it went. Wow.

Connie--I wonder if your nephew will remember this when he gets older? It would be a memory to treasure.