This Hummingbird Rescue Story Will Warm Your Heart

Updated: Aug. 09, 2023

It was a communal effort to rescue a tired hummingbird that was found at a local police station before a reader brought him to her backyard and gave him extra TLC.

Trapped Hummingbird at the Police Station

Jaclyn Ritter2Courtesy Jaclyn Ritter
A police officer tried to feed the exhausted hummingbird sugar water.

Reader Jaclyn Ritter shared this story of a special hummingbird rescue with Birds & Blooms.

Hi sweetie! Can you come down to the police department to pick up a tired and dehydrated hummingbird?” This is pretty much all the information I got from my mother as I grabbed my keys and headed out the door.

A male ruby-throated hummingbird had entered the local police department where my mom works, gotten disoriented and couldn’t find its way out. By the time the morning shift arrived, the bird had given up and taken refuge on a desk. One of our city’s finest, Officer Henry, proceeded to hand-feed it sugar water through a coffee straw.

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Taking the Rescued Hummingbird Home

Jaclyn Ritter3Courtesy Jaclyn Ritter
Jaclyn rescued the hummingbird and brought it home to her garden.

Due to exhaustion, the hummingbird was no longer flying, so my mother placed it in an open box and asked me to take it home. It felt like I hit every red light along the 10-minute trek back home. Once home, I took it into my backyard and searched for something that might make for a good appetizer.

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Jaclyn Ritter4Courtesy Jaclyn Ritter
The tired hummingbird was able to drink nectar through its bill.

I cradled the debilitated hummingbird in the palm of my hand, pulled off a branch of my jasmine plant and carefully slid its bill into the fragrant flower. It could not lift its body, let alone its own head, but as it drank, I could feel its body strengthening.

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Rest and Recovery

hummingbird rescueCourtesy Jaclyn Ritter
After feeding, the hummingbird recovered and took flight.

By the 10th flower, the bird was sitting up strong on my hand and almost dancing. After 15 minutes of hand-feeding my new friend, I put it at the base of the jasmine, pulled a few small branches down to its level and took a seat on my patio chair a few feet away to watch. The bird slowly tested its wings, hovering just a few inches above the soil, then started zipping up, down and around the whole shrub!

Months later after the hummingbird rescue, I like to believe that my friend still visits my backyard to say hello.

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