Video: Celebrating 40 Years Restoring Wings to the Wild

Some of the earliest baby birds to arrive each year are hummingbirds. As with any baby that comes we triage, stabilize them with fluids and, if needed, provide heat support. We check for any injuries or problems and address those and set up a treatment plan for their stay with us. Sometimes they need special medication or a wing wrapped.

Baby hummingbird being fed by dropperOnce we determine if a bird is healthy we first attempt to renest them immediately in their original nest and let their parents resume care. With hummingbirds, if this isn’t possible, we continue to stabilize them, watch vital signs and then we begin feeding every 30 minutes. We usually offer fresh flowers right away so they can start recognizing and interacting with their food.

Once they start buzzing around and stretching their wings hummingbirds are moved to a larger enclosure such as a laundry basket. Later we move them to our large hummingbird aviaries. We offer them food, sugar water and fresh flowers constantly especially as they become more and more active. We give them frequent hand feeding until they start eating on their own. Eventually, we move them outside for prerelease conditioning for a couple weeks. We also will harvest fruit flies for them to catch in the aviary.

Allen’s Hummingbird babyGenerally they stay with us between a month and two months depending on how old they were when they came in. When they are ready and strong and proven foragers we release them back to the wild. In 2015 we rescued one-hundred and eleven hummingbirds representing three species: Anna’s, Rufous, and Allen’s. Through your support we can make 2016 a successful hummingbird year as well.