Hummingbird Rescue Operation This Morning

We discovered a hummingbird this morning in the kitchen office, huddled up and catatonic. It probably got in there last night and was unable to get out. I just read that hummingbirds have to consume their body weight in food (nectar and insects) each day and they have to stock up before nightfall to survive until the next day. When facing starvation, they are able to lower their body temperature.

This one was close to expiring and when we picked it up, it didn’t move. We started feeding it sugar water and warmed it under a lightbulb. Pretty soon its tiny tongue flicked out and it started swallowing. Its eyes, which had been closed, opened. After maybe 5 minutes, it started moving its wings. Back from the dead. We took it outside and—zoom!—off it went into the highest birch tree—jubilation from the humanoids.

In these photos you can see it with its eye closed, and later, open.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

6 Responses to Hummingbird Rescue Operation This Morning

  1. oh my goodness, Lloyd. You are a Bird Whisperer…

    you have had quite a few posts about hummingbirds, but this is my favorite…


  2. We maintain a couple of hummer feeders year-round where we live in southern Oregon and supply nutrient to a fair number of hummers, a few of which are permanent residents. Last winter I forgot to take the feeders in one night and they froze, depriving the hummers of a much-needed quick-start breakfast. Two of them died as a result (I found one little body the next day and the other later) and I felt/feel very bad about that. These fascinating little critters truly live on the edge – all the time.

  3. Lloyd…have been trying for years to grow a honeysuckle vine close to a window, to attract/watch hummingbirds (Calgary). It is only in the past couple yrs the plant is finally well established/full of blooms.

    This afternoon, I was shocked and thrilled to see a little critter flying around it, and it took a bit for me to truly realise it was a hummingbird. I was so happy to finally have success. Now I hope the little guy returns/brings friends.

    (although others in Calgary had luck with hummingbird feeders, I tried a variety and not me)

  4. Lloyd

    suspect this is a silly question..
    but, we have a hummingbird or two coming around, and some wicked winds. I am assuming there is a nest they go to and fro, but wondering if there are any suggestion to "shelter" the little critters?

    seems like a lost hope, but thought I would ask if you had any suggestions…?

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