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Archive for May, 2012

Hummingbirds

Monday, May 28th, 2012

We are trained as Historic Site Interpreters, to know the vast history of Split Rock Lighthouse station; however at times we find ourselves a “Jack of all trades”, like the Keepers before us. We each bring with us unique talents spanning the geography, phenology, entomology, hydrology, meteorology, ethology and ornithology (to name a few) of the area.

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Recently, our talents at ornithology were tested when a hummingbird found its way into the Fog Signal building and could not figure the way out. After several hours of frantic flying and no food the little one eventually succumbed to her exhaustion and was captured.

She was extremely lethargic, in almost a torpor state, and had cobwebs wound between her wing and foot, holding  them tightly together.  First, was getting some sugar water to try and re-hydrate the wee bird. Next, was slowly and gently getting the cobwebs off her wing and unwound from her foot.  She was finally free of cobwebs but still not very responsive. She was cupped in hands to keep warm; the temperature had dropped.  What next? Well, after a few minutes of having a wing and foot free and taking in a little bit of sugar water and warming up, the humming bird began to perk up.  She actually stuck her beak out between my fingers. Upon opening my hand the hummingbird took flight into the birch near the feeder.  They are nothing if not resilient creatures.

We are not sure if the little hummingbird is among the throngs coming to the feeder, but we would like to believe that with a little human intervention she is doing well.

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This save happened because of our dedicated staff; Alex, for bring the hummingbirds plight to attention and Vi and Matt for the initial rescue.
For more information on the Ruby-throated Humming bird, please check out the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby-throated_Hummingbird