So I know at the end of the last post I promised you Alameda tern action, but I’m about to leave for a week in the wilderness with no internet, or even electricity, and something amazing happened yesterday that I must share.
Sweep Commander and I went birding at Fort Mason in San Francisco yesterday. He was on the trail of a sweet Orchard Oriole, I just wanted to get out of the house. While taking a rest on the side of a walkway, I saw something in the dirt just on the other side of the path that looked like a bird flapping, but seemed too small. I only saw it out of the corner of my eye at first and thought it was maybe just a large butterfly. I kept looking and saw it again so we went over to check it out. It turned out to be a female Anna’s hummingbird!
Now, I am no vet, or even any kind of rescuer, but she didn’t seem injured as much as tired and struggling, so without really thinking I decided to do what I could. I grabbed a scarf out of my bag to avoid tiny impalement and picked her up. It was a super overcast, cold, windy day, so I tried to do my best to shelter her as I walked with her. Her eyes looked really droopy and like she was having trouble keeping them open. I wasn’t really sure at first what to do, if I should just move her somewhere sheltered and hidden or if I should try to feed her. I was walking by a huge slope of nasturtium at the time, so I figured I would at least see if she would eat. And yeah, since she shoved her entire head in basically every flower I put her in front of, I’m pretty sure she was famished.
I fed her there for over half an hour and she started flapping her wings a little bit and seemed to perk up a lot. I thought that a good place to take her would be the Community Garden, since I could probably put her somewhere sheltered and there were a lot of flowers there. So we walked over and I brought her to some morning glories and let her feed on those for a while. We walked around looking for a good place to leave her, and I would stop and let her feed at random flowers we passed. After a little bit she started flapping her wings a lot, and fast enough that they started making the “buzz” that hummingbird wings make when they fly and I started getting excited. At the same time the sun started coming out, and I think that maybe helped her as well. She was flapping a lot in my hands, and though I was holding them open so that she could take off if she wanted, I decided to set her down and see what would happen. I walked over to a bench and put her on a table next to it and within a minute she took off!
Clearly, this was the highlight of my year. I really didn’t think that she had much of a chance and was fully prepared for her to possibly die in my hands, but I am so incredibly happy that I took a chance and tried to help! (Though honestly, even if she had died, I would still have been happy that I tried to help. It’s just how I roll). We never found the oriole, but I actually did add at least three new species to my life list, which is awesome and all, but does not compare in any way to saving a freakin’ hummingbird!