FAIRYTALE RESCUE: A boater on Mowat Bay recently noticed a tiny flutter on the water. Peering at it as closely as she could, she realized it was a very little bird trying to flutter its wings to prevent drowning. It was a hummingbird!
Pulling off her clothes, she dove in, scooped it up in her hand and swam back to the boat while holding it out of the water. Quickly depositing it in her boyfriend’s hat to keep it warm, the trio then made their way home and called Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society (PROWLS ).
Back at our facility, the nestling rufous hummingbird was placed in a small cage with a tiny crocheted nest and a heating pad on the bottom to get it completely dry and warm, then offered special flower nectar to drink. Fortunately it was already gaping (opening and closing its beak) and very hungry.
Females feed the young by sticking their bill deep into their tiny beaks and regurgitating tiny insects mixed with nectar. It was soon keen to drink from the syringe attached to the side of the cage on its own; no need for assistance from foster parents. These babies drink two to three times their body weight in nectar daily.
Within a couple of days it graduated to a small cage decorated with branches and flowers, where it honed its flight skills. Ten days later it was ready to return to Mowat Bay to start its free life in the wild.