Coffee heat rising

Drama of the Day: A hummer!

So after a mildly hectic day that entailed an unplanned trek to Tempe (a place I’d hoped never to have to visit again), Cassie and I are sitting in the study when we hear a bizarre noise. She starts to bark. I run out to the front of the house in search of the source of the odd sound.

It sounds like a large insect is trapped under one of the unwashed pans occupying the kitchen sink. Cassie is going berserk. Then I realize that no! It’s not coming from the sink. Looking upward, what should I find but a hummingbird frantically trying to get out through the skylight!

I’d left the screen door hanging open, and the little bird had flown indoors. In her confusion, she fixated on what she thought was the sky. Here she is, clinging to the seam between the drywall and the glass, too exhausted to move:

What was needed, I figured, was for someone to climb on the roof and throw a dark blanket over the skylight, so the bird could see the light below and make her way downward and back out the back door. This was not a job for an old bat.

Meanwhile, in the course of dragging the frantic dog out of the kitchen so she wouldn’t terrorize the hummer any further, I dropped her and she landed on her face. That didn’t do her any good.

It was after 5:00 p.m. The Audubon Society was closed. M’hijito regularly works until 6:30 and later, and I’m not allowed to call him at his job. SDXB lives almost an hour’s drive away and by this hour was likely to be fully engaged with the current New Girlfriend. None of my neighbors are any more capable of climbing on the roof than I am.

Eventually I managed to get a couple of volunteers from Liberty Wildlife on the phone. They’re located in far north Scottsdale, too far across the sprawl to drive into my part of town. Called Gerardo the Wonder-Yard Guy; he said he’d send one of his underlings over.

Meanwhile, M’hijito e-mailed me, causing me to realize he must be home. Got him on the phone. He said he’d come over and try to catch the bird.

Then one of the wildlife rescue volunteers called back and put me in touch with a young fellow who, interestingly, lives just a few blocks from M’hjijto. He also headed in my direction.

So within a few minutes three young men of varying sizes and linguistic sets showed up at the door. M’hijito climbed up a ladder and managed to corral the little bird inside a small plastic-lined wicker basket, padded with a napkin for protection. Amazingly, he got her down out of the skylight in one piece.

When we carried her outside, she was so petrified she just sat there. We thought she must be injured, but when the wildlife rescue guy reached in to examine her, she shot into the air like a rocket and took off at jet speed—pursued by an enraged competitor.

The wildlife folks (one of whom was soon back on the phone) worried that she would need to get food, since she would have exhausted so much energy banging herself against the skylight. I’m pretty sure there was still enough light for her to feed off some flowers—the place is awash in blossoms just now, and this morning I saw several swarms of tiny gnats, a favorite source of hummer protein.

Cassie, also, seemed to be OK. She was playing with the wildlife guy, pestering him with Ball, so I guess she wasn’t seriously hurt.

So. That was an adventure.