Wildlife Lessons

humming bird

I have encountered many different types of wildlife over the years. Some encounters stand out more than others. From the occasional deer on the side of the road, to scooping frogs and crayfish out of our pool, I’ve seen and experienced it all. One day when I was younger, I had the unexpected pleasure of finding an abandoned baby hummingbird outside our family’s camp. The tiny bird couldn’t fly and refused to answer the calls of its poor mother that was flying around frantically, trying to find it in the yard. After an entire day of watching, I noticed the mother hummingbird had given up its quest and had fled, leaving the poor baby behind. Knowing that the creature wouldn’t survive the night without assistance, I scooped it up and placed it in a shoe box lined with a soft blanket inside.

It’s safe for me to say that most people have not encountered a hummingbird up close before; if they have, the only noise usually heard is the humming of the beautiful birds’ wings as they flap at an amazing 50 beats per second. My encounter with the hummingbird taught me a few things about baby birds. They are loud – so very loud. They cheep all the time; yes, baby hummingbirds included. Baby birds also eat a lot. That was my initial challenge after first rescuing the pathetic little puff ball. I had to find out what it needed to eat or it would undoubtedly not survive. My experience with hummingbirds was extremely limited, so I wracked my brain to figure out what to do. I knew that hummingbirds drank nectar from deep within the petals of a flower. I also knew that nectar was sweet like sugar. In my mind there was only one thing I could do for the baby bird.

I mixed up a batch of sugar water and attempted to imitate the part of a flower with a tiny straw from a child’s juice box. I dipped the straw into the sugar water and used my finger at the end of the straw to trap some inside. Then, I offered the other end to the hummingbird and was absolutely amazed when it actually worked and the baby started sipping happily away! Within a few minutes, it had received its fill and immediately fell deep asleep, only emitting a few little satisfied squeaks as it slept peacefully. For the next day, I was “summoned” every 1-2 hours to give the baby his next dose of nutrition. Normally I would not recommend treating wildlife yourself; you never know the dangers that could be involved. This baby however, would not have lived if I hadn’t intervened, and the next day I delivered it safely to the closest bird sanctuary.

This experience taught me quite a bit about handling wildlife and gave me respect for those who do so as a profession. There are many companies such as Chicago Raccoon Removal or Chicago Squirrel Removal that deal with wildlife animals and give them a chance to survive. Sometimes wildlife can clash with humans; it is inevitable as we continuously develop further into the wild, and as a result, more wildlife is displaced.

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