Hummer Trapped in My Garage
Val McClellan of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
Hummingbird rescue!


Dear Journey North,

My name is Val McClellan from Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. I had a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird in our garage for 2 days. It was flying up in the rafters and would not fly down and out. I tried hanging a feeder from the rafters, set up so that I could lower the feeder if the hummingbird started feeding at it. I also brought in a flowering plant and placed it on top of a ladder. These tricks worked the last time I had a hummingbird in the garage, but not this time.

I saw that it was not feeding, so I put nectar in several shot glasses and placed them on top of the beams, in the rafters. It still would not go to the glasses. I stood on the top of a ladder with my head in the rafter area. The hummingbird would fly up to me and perch on a wire. I held out my hand and the hummingbird flew to it and perched on my finger. It would fly up to the peak in the garage and then back to my finger. I could feel the warmth from the little bird through its feet. Quite an awesome experience. I then held the glass and it drank!

The amazing thing was to watch the transformation of its little body as it filled with nectar. It actually changed shape. The little streamlined body changed to a little plump lump. It sat very still for almost 10 minutes and actually looked like it fell asleep. I put my finger in front of it. It moved to my finger. I was able to close my fingers around the bottom of the bird and then cup my other hand around it. It didn't even stir. I climbed down off the ladder and took it outside. I opened my hand. It sat there for a minute and then flew off. It was an incredible experience.

The hummingbird returned to the garage the next day. It figured out how to get out. It flies to the feeder and then back outside. I gradually returned this feeder to the hanger in the backyard.

Trapped in My Garage

Val McClellan holds this starving Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Before Eating
Val McClellan holds this starving Ruby-throated Hummingbird just after it fed
After Eating