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injured baby hummingbird

Posted by crescentmoonhummers AZ (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 30, 07 at 18:29

Seven weeks ago we discovered a hummingbird nest on a little crescent moon wind chime right outside our family room window. We watched the mama sit for almost 3 weeks on her two little jelly bean like eggs. The first one hatched on June 5, the second on June 7. The two little birds have been fascinating to watch. One fell out of the nest (we'd but a soft chair under the nest just in case), we put it right back and mama continued to feed both of them. A couple of times we found one hanging over the side clinging by a foot struggling to get back into the nest and we gently put it back.

On Sat June 23 we noticed a hummingbird sitting above the nest who chased any other hummers away. This went on for a day and a half and what we initially thought was feeding was actually pecking at the babies trying to push them out of the nest. It was also chasing the mama away. The babies were making little chirps which I later learned were sounds of distress. When we finally figured it out we managed to shoo the pecker away and the mama came right in and started feeding them. I think it is possible that the pecker could have pushed the babies over the side when we'd found one or the other hanging from the side of the nest.

On Thurs June 28th, the first one flew off of the nest and hung out nearby with mama still feeding both him and the one remaining in the nest. The pecker guy also showed up again and tried to get at the fledging altho we shooed him away as much as possible.

Yesterday (Fri June 29) early morning I saw the flying baby, the mama and the pecker flying nearby and the one in the nest. When I came home an hour later, I found the body of the little guy on the ground with what I thought were injuries that could have been caused by pecking. Very very sad.

Here's the dilemma: The one still in the nest has one wing that just isn't working right. It's as though it doesn't puff out all the way. She (I think) does her trying-to-fly practicing - just like the other one did - and one wing is loking great and the other not. It looks like it moves from the shoulder. She keeps looking at some branches we put close to the nest and seems to want to take off but doesn't go anywhere. The mother continues to feed it and the pecker continues to try to get to the nest and also chases the mama sometimes when she is feeding or coming towards the nest.

Since it's still being fed we haven't done anything other than watch and try to thwart the pecker. I'd thought maybe the wing would look better today, but I don't think there has been much change. I know many birds don't make it to adulthood but since the first one died I would like to help this one if possible.

I've got some calls out to rehabbers but nothing back so far. I'd found some good hummingbird information on this forum before so I'd thought I'd try here for some info. (This is also my first posting on any forum.)

Thanks in advance for any ideas or help!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: injured baby hummingbird

If it hatched three weeks ago, it should have already fledged. I have below a comprehensive list of AZ rehabbers. Please keep calling until someone gets back to you. If the baby cannot leave the nest, other than bringing it to a rehabber, there is nothing else to do.

Here is a link that might be useful: AZ rehabbers


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