A weary traveler

A weary traveler

Joined: July 29th, 2013, 2:35 pm

August 31st, 2017, 10:10 pm #1

Came home from work today to find 2 of my 4 feeders completely empty, both of them with birds seated quietly on the perches as if waiting for me to return. The other 2 feeders had just a small amount of solution in the bottom because I didn't fill them all the way this morning. When it's all said and done they'll have consumed close to
50 oz (over 1.5 qts) today!

One of the birds, a female, seemed to be struggling a bit when she took off from one of the feeders. She hit the ground roughly but managed to continue on but couldn't gain enough height to clear my back fence. She fell in a heap in some tall grass and I immediately went out to collect her. There are fire ants everywhere because of the flooding rains. I scooped her up and noticed that she was breathing heavily and her heart was beating abnormally fast even for a hummingbird. She still had the strength to vocally protest against me picking her up which was a good sign.

I held her for a few minutes to let her calm down then released her and she flew slowly out of the yard looking none worse for the wear.

Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 28th, 2014, 12:17 pm

August 31st, 2017, 10:31 pm #2

Good job Nate, glad to see you and the birds are okay.
Tom M
St. Pete, FL
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: August 21st, 2012, 2:43 pm

August 31st, 2017, 10:39 pm #3

Came home from work today to find 2 of my 4 feeders completely empty, both of them with birds seated quietly on the perches as if waiting for me to return. The other 2 feeders had just a small amount of solution in the bottom because I didn't fill them all the way this morning. When it's all said and done they'll have consumed close to
50 oz (over 1.5 qts) today!

One of the birds, a female, seemed to be struggling a bit when she took off from one of the feeders. She hit the ground roughly but managed to continue on but couldn't gain enough height to clear my back fence. She fell in a heap in some tall grass and I immediately went out to collect her. There are fire ants everywhere because of the flooding rains. I scooped her up and noticed that she was breathing heavily and her heart was beating abnormally fast even for a hummingbird. She still had the strength to vocally protest against me picking her up which was a good sign.

I held her for a few minutes to let her calm down then released her and she flew slowly out of the yard looking none worse for the wear.
Nathan,
She may not have been simply weary. She may have simply been putting on weight over more than a few day from feeding heavily and finally reached the limits of the weight that her wings were capable of lifting.
Usually a few minutes of rest gives them the ability to resume their near normal flight abilities which is what you provided her. This time of the year it's a common occurrence and I have done exactly what you did as a means to protect them from predators, including ants. Your bird may have been fattening up since she planned to make the trip across the gulf nonstop. After 3-4 minutes they all have flow off as yours did seemingly in normal flight but I choose to call these overeaters "blimpy", since if you watch them they are not quite as agile in flight as a bird that is in the normal weight range.

Joe M.
Lakeland, FL
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: July 18th, 2009, 3:58 am

August 31st, 2017, 11:05 pm #4

Came home from work today to find 2 of my 4 feeders completely empty, both of them with birds seated quietly on the perches as if waiting for me to return. The other 2 feeders had just a small amount of solution in the bottom because I didn't fill them all the way this morning. When it's all said and done they'll have consumed close to
50 oz (over 1.5 qts) today!

One of the birds, a female, seemed to be struggling a bit when she took off from one of the feeders. She hit the ground roughly but managed to continue on but couldn't gain enough height to clear my back fence. She fell in a heap in some tall grass and I immediately went out to collect her. There are fire ants everywhere because of the flooding rains. I scooped her up and noticed that she was breathing heavily and her heart was beating abnormally fast even for a hummingbird. She still had the strength to vocally protest against me picking her up which was a good sign.

I held her for a few minutes to let her calm down then released her and she flew slowly out of the yard looking none worse for the wear.
Nice job.

A few weeks ago I saw a hummer fly away from a flower patch and struggle to get two feet off the ground before dropping back down to the ground. Yesterday, at the same flower patch I saw a hummer slowly drop and sit on the ground for a minute before lifting off to feed again.
Dan
East-central Iowa
Zone 5a
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: March 6th, 2008, 2:20 am

September 2nd, 2017, 6:08 pm #5

Came home from work today to find 2 of my 4 feeders completely empty, both of them with birds seated quietly on the perches as if waiting for me to return. The other 2 feeders had just a small amount of solution in the bottom because I didn't fill them all the way this morning. When it's all said and done they'll have consumed close to
50 oz (over 1.5 qts) today!

One of the birds, a female, seemed to be struggling a bit when she took off from one of the feeders. She hit the ground roughly but managed to continue on but couldn't gain enough height to clear my back fence. She fell in a heap in some tall grass and I immediately went out to collect her. There are fire ants everywhere because of the flooding rains. I scooped her up and noticed that she was breathing heavily and her heart was beating abnormally fast even for a hummingbird. She still had the strength to vocally protest against me picking her up which was a good sign.

I held her for a few minutes to let her calm down then released her and she flew slowly out of the yard looking none worse for the wear.
Great job! I've never witnessed them being so fat as to not be able to fly but not fly as quickly... definitely as this time of year.

Joni
Elwood, IL
Zone 5b
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: October 5th, 2014, 6:34 pm

September 8th, 2017, 2:49 pm #6

Came home from work today to find 2 of my 4 feeders completely empty, both of them with birds seated quietly on the perches as if waiting for me to return. The other 2 feeders had just a small amount of solution in the bottom because I didn't fill them all the way this morning. When it's all said and done they'll have consumed close to
50 oz (over 1.5 qts) today!

One of the birds, a female, seemed to be struggling a bit when she took off from one of the feeders. She hit the ground roughly but managed to continue on but couldn't gain enough height to clear my back fence. She fell in a heap in some tall grass and I immediately went out to collect her. There are fire ants everywhere because of the flooding rains. I scooped her up and noticed that she was breathing heavily and her heart was beating abnormally fast even for a hummingbird. She still had the strength to vocally protest against me picking her up which was a good sign.

I held her for a few minutes to let her calm down then released her and she flew slowly out of the yard looking none worse for the wear.
WOW!!
Cathy P
Downers Grove, IL
Zone 5
Bazuhi@sbcglobal.net
Visit Me At:
https://www.facebook.com/Cathy-Ps-Hummingbird-Gardens-885457968170727/
Quote
Like
Share