We had a worrisome several hours the other day.
The husband went out into the garage, to get a beer, after a long afternoon of hauling river rocks and working on the rock wall to the front garden. As he approached the refrigerator, he felt a buzzing around his head- of course, he thought it was a humongous bee ready to get him!!
He glanced around, and found the buzzing was from the wings of a hummingbird, circling his head, and trying to figure out how to get out the back door of the garage!
As he grasped the doorknob to open the door, the tiny bird zoomed up to the rafters of the 2 story garage! He summoned me (bird rescuer extraordinaire!) and the rescue began!!
First of all, the rule is to NOT leave the garage doors open, if no one is in or near the garage- because of all the wildlife nearby! But, of course, that rule is almost impossible to enforce, try as we might!
Last year, while unpacking a partially opened box in the garage, I came across a tiny hummingbird, entangled in a ribbon, in the bottom of the box. Barely clinging to life, I managed to get the tiny bird to sip some hummingbird nectar thru its long tubular tongue, and then it died…………..
I was determined that this would not happen to this little guy! One day, while carrying in a bag of flowered liriope, a hummingbird buzzed the open garage, and seemed to be checking out the flowers! Either that, or it was letting me know that my mom’s hummingbird feeder was in need of a refill! I have had them hover in front of the living room windows when the feeder is low! They have also made a beeline for my head like a little fighter pilot, when I have gotten too close to their food supply, and am picking certain flowers in the garden!
Anyway, as most trapped birds do, this little hummingbird was flying up – into the peak of the roof – where it is impossible to reach him. The windows at the top of the garage don’t open, so we opened both garage doors, and the back 2nd story door where he had been trying to exit. The humans in the garage just frightened him, so he would flit from beam to beam, at one end of the garage, occasionally stopping for a very brief rest. Turning the light on sent him into a tizzy, so we turned the light off and left the garage. Even when left to their own devices, invariably, birds cannot seem to find their way back out the way they came in. They become more frantic as they try to escape, and since flying upward is their usual pattern when outside – that is what they do when frightened and trapped. And, in a space as cavernous as a garage, it is impossible to catch and release!
I went out front and got mom’s feeder, which WAS in need of a refill, altho there was some nectar left. I put a new batch of syrup on the stove and took the feeder out to the garage, and set it on a box near the front doors, hoping the little bird would come down for a sip and see freedom!!
After the new nectar was done and cooled, I went out to check on the little bird, and it was still buzzing, but at the other end of the garage, near the 2nd story door. He was still up in the rafters tho – not quite getting the idea to come down. So, I refilled the feeder, showed it to him and set it outside the garage door on the deck. All that did was scare off a flock of mourning doves who hang out one deck over!!! That’s all I would need right now, is to have some of them fly into the garage!!!
Dusk was fast approaching, and if he didn’t leave, I was going to have to leave the feeder in the garage, and close the doors. If the doors were left open all night, the owl, bats, rabbits, snakes, and fox (not to mention the feral barn cats), would be checking out the garage under cover of darkness!! The mice have already set up residence-we live in the country – mice in the garage is part of life!! But, we REALLY don’t need anyone else moving in!! That is what the barn is for!!!!
Did I mention that we also have 75 bales of hay in the garage, stacked one story high? We ran out of room in the barn (pole barn to be built next year for the hay), and since we NEVER have a car in a garage, why not hay??? Thank goodness THAT is sold and will be picked up tomorrow!! But, I digress…………………..
I gave it one more try, and moved the bright red feeder, just inside the open garage door, and set it on a bright white pail (for contrast!). I went inside and hoped for the best. Just as dusk was fading into the blackness of a starless night, I came back out to the garage and looked and listened. There was NO buzzing! I turned on the overhead lights and looked, and could not see anything. I looked all over the garage – Eureka – success!!! The little guy found his way out!
After a careful 2nd and 3rd search, I closed all the garage doors, and took the hummingbird feeder back to its garden pole. I just LOVE a happy ending!!!!!
By late August, most of the hummingbirds seem to have started their trek to South America, but there seem to be a few late stragglers this year! I don’t know if these hangers-on are our resident birds, or travelers passing thru. Altho it is October 1st (can you believe it???), I will keep the hummingbird feeder replenished for a little while longer, just in case………
All is well, on this serene and chilly Wednesday morn………