I admit I am an animal fanatic. I have loved animals of all kinds since I was a very young child (as I have written about in prior blogs). I cannot stand to see an animal (or human) suffer.
This morning, I received a text from my daughter-in-law. Two baby hummingbirds had fallen from a nest in one of their trees. One was dead but the other was still breathing.
Unfortunately, I had a medical appointment to get to before going over to her and my son's house to collect the baby. (My plan was to take it to Acacia Animal Hospital, in Escondido, as they work closely with Project Wildlife and I know for a fact they have a hummingbird rehabilitator available). By the time I got to their home, the baby was in distress due to the heat.
I know you are not supposed to feed baby hummingbirds if you find them and I knew he would have already been out too long, exposed to the elements without mom. Normally, you want to keep them warm, but because of this horrible heat, I was very concerned about him. If the baby is straining his neck and has his beak open, he is definitely overheated. Unfortunately, this is what I found when I got there.
He expired about a minute after I got there. So sad. Feel like if I had skipped my appointment, I may have had a chance to save him. When I walked into the backyard, the mom was flying around him but of course, there was nothing she could do. I put him in a box on a towel and decided to take him home to bury him.
I was pretty sad as I really was hoping to be able to save him. Even this little life is precious and tore me up inside that he suffered. I have done several rescues and this was the first animal I have lost so I was beating myself up about it.
I sat in the yard for a bit and waited. Sure enough, mom came back. She flew right up to me and fluttered there for awhile. (I will pretend she knows I was trying to help). She then flew onto a branch of a large pine and sat there the entire time. I approached her with the box that held her baby and she stayed right where she was. She did not get spooked or anything.
The baby finally looked at peace by the time I got him to my house.
I created a little sanctuary for him in my yard. RIP little one.
If you find a baby animal of any kind, try to do some research on the internet prior to moving it as some parents leave their babies alone for periods of time. If the baby is injured or in distress, assess the situation and make a decision based on the cues you are seeing and hearing. Acacia Animal Hospital is a good resource to call as well as Project Wildlife, but there is a lot of information at your fingertips. Be aware of weather conditions and other dangers that may affect the baby (or even adult animal in distress). Try to have everything you need at your fingertips prior to touching the animal, such as latex/rubber gloves, a box, towel, and first and foremost, make sure you will be safe before attempting a rescue. Even the smallest lives matter. Even though this rescue did not have the ending I had hoped for, I felt good for trying.