The hummingbird

It was late afternoon. David saw a shadow of a hummingbird in the window of our bedroom onto our little portal. I looked up. The hummingbird was perched on the sill. I could see through the window that it had cobwebs on its beak. I quietly walked out on the portal and saw it was distressed, hunched over, its eyes half closed. It was covered in a spider web. I was able to pick it up. Together, David and I pulled off the silky webs around its beak, legs, feet, and wings. There were a few infinitesimal poops in the webs. As we were gently teasing off the webs I worried about breaking a leg or a wing. Its toes were so tiny. It felt weightless. All I could feel in my hand was its beating heart. David got a dish of sugar water, and it drank and drank. We walked down to the patio — to share a beer, being that time of day —and to give the hummingbird freedom to fly. It drank more sugar water from a cap of a soda bottle. It nested in my palm. Then it flew up and perched in the palo verde. It preened and rested and after a few minutes flew down and drank from one of our feeders. We were able to follow its flight for awhile from the tree down to the feeder, back to the tree, back to the feeder, but soon we lost it in the frenzy of feeding hummingbirds, being that time of day.


It was a female or perhaps immature broad-billed hummingbird, Cynanthus latirostris.

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