A few days ago while working with the BREEF www.breef.org ConZoovation Summer camp at Ardastra Gardens www.ardastra.com the keepers told me they had a hummingbird that had gotten caught in a spider web. For me, saving Webber (the name I gave him while writing the blog) was important. His wing was actually tied to his little body and several of his tail feathers came out while removing the web. It was pretty sad to see his one wing fluttering and him spin around in the box like a firecracker with a broken stem. We got the web off and he just lay there panting, but Alma Davis the senior keeper at Ardastra brought some sugar water (a trick I learned from Joe Wunderle, ornithologist extraordinaire). We juiced Webber up and he quickly took off. After landing for a second on the edge of the sugar water bowl and then the rafter in the enrichment room, we caught him again and he was set free.
Holding a hummingbird was one of my turning points to being an Eco-Warrior. Andros Island Bahamas during bird banding on the Kirtland’s Warbler Research and Training Program, we measured hundreds of native and migrant birds caught in mist nets. but when you hold a hummingbird something changes and you can’t go back. You also never know when you will get the chance to again.
I am hoping this kind of change happens for the kids at the summer camp too. they got to hand feed the Loris and march with the Flamingos.