[va-richmond-general] Once in a lifetime

  • From: "IE Ries" <FEATHERCHASER@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "AudubonList" <va-richmond-general@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 12:13:24 -0400

  On Friday I had truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  At Pocahontas State Park by the pool complex, we were busily getting ready 
for this weekend's opening day.  The park's maintenence staff was raking and 
burning debris, while I had our guys out there powerwashing the deck.  I was 
busy with other staff opening newly-arrived uniforms and dividing them up in 
the staff break room.

  Imagine the suprise of the 3 teenagers with me when a disoriented and 
struggling Hummingbird flew in, fluttering about, looking for a place to land 
and hide.  The poor little bird draped itself over the little wooden lip of a 
coat rack, and I had a chair and was up there in the blink of an eye.  I tucked 
in the outspread and prostrate wings, then cupped my hands to gently lift our 
unexpected little visitor up from there.  I brought her (when I got a peek at 
the underside I discovered this was a female) out and toward the treeline, and 
then crouched near a small tree.  

  Poor thing had dust and debris on her head and beak from her unplanned 
landing, so I carefully brushed that off.  Also noticed the eyes laboriously 
opening and closing, and I know from having birds in my home with me that this 
could indicate a few things:  shock, exhaustion, and repiratory trouble.  I 
decided to simply sit and wait, and I'll never forget the feeling of teeny tiny 
little black feet perched on my pinky finger.  When she regained her strength a 
bit, she spread her wings and then began that rapid fanning until she took off 
from my hand and flew (relatively) slowly up and into a tall oak tree.

  I'm thinking that all the noise, debris in the air and smoke from the 
controlled fire probably did a little number on the poor bird, and she was 
really having a hard time.  I hope she's OK now, and I'll certainly never 
forget holding a little jewel in my hands like that!

  Happy Birding.

  Irene in Southside

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