Two months ago Judy Molland posted a video of a baby hummingbird taking its first flight. If you watch the video, you’ll get a sense of what the little hero of this story had to learn – but without adult hummingbirds as instructors.
Two baby rufous hummingbirds were rescued on July 4th. They were a few days old and living on a barge off British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast. The barge moved. Babies and mother were separated.
The orphaned babies were found and turned over to the Wildlife Rescue Association (WRA) in Burnaby, B.C. The staff had rescued adult hummingbirds but were uncertain how to raise such tiny babies. They told the Vancouver Sun the birds were half the size of an average pinky finger and were in a nest the size of a small mushroom cap.
One of the baby birds died a few days later. The other responded to round-the-clock care and a carefully researched diet of nectar, blood worms and fruit flies.
Linda Bakker, team leader at WRA, told the Burnaby News Leader the little survivor needed cool night temperatures in order to slow her metabolism, as would happen in the wild. Gradually she grew stronger and learned to fend for herself.
August 13th is the big day. The baby has grown up. She can catch fruit flies and drink from a hummingbird feeder. Now she is being released to the wild.
WRA staff are sorry to see her go but excited with their first experience rearing a baby rufous hummingbird.
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Photo credit of rufous hummingbird from Thinkstock