Sometimes birds come inside my house.
It isn’t something I WANT to have happen.
But, I live adjacent to a lot of wildlife – including an Audobon Conservation Site.
And, when I’m home, my backdoor usually stays open so Fred and Frank can come and go as they please.
On Monday evening, around 7 p.m., I discovered a hummingbird flying around on the second floor of my house.
I instantly went to look at the hummingbird nest outside my backdoor … which was empty.
It was already dark outside and I knew Mama Hummingbird was the bird flying around upstairs.
How long had she been in the house?
For a few minutes?
How long had her eggs been left outdoors in the cold and rain without her?
How to get a hummingbird downstairs … and then outside??
I was so worried she would fly into something and hurt herself … leaving her eggs in the nest without a mom.
As all these thoughts were running through my head, Mama Bird came out of an upstairs bedroom and was frantically flying around at the top of my stairs.
The ceiling is vaulted in that part of my home and she must have been at least thirty feet above my reach.
But, like a moth, she seemed attracted to the lights.
Quickly, I turned on all my downstair lights and my outdoor patio lights.
I turned off the upstair lights.
Sure enough, Mama Hummingbird – in her effort to get back to her babies – followed the light and was soon buzzing noisily around the downstairs of my house.
I felt victorious, and frightened at the same time.
There are a lot more obstacles in the downstairs part of my home.
I knew I needed to get her outside quickly before she broke a wing, or flew into something and broke her neck and/or legs.
I gradually turned off downstairs lights, guiding her towards my backdoor.
(Her nest is right outside that door!)
In what only took a minute or two, but seemed like hours, I had persuaded her within feet of the door.
But, oh no!
Frank heard the “buzz” of her wings and sprang into action trying to catch her.
I rebuked him loudly, and quickly.
With a lot of dog-dramatic-sulking he stopped and settled at my feet.
Fred, on the other hand, was ignoring everything.
Fred had discovered the shelf of an end table was the perfect height to use as a headrest and he had no intention of moving.
iPhone photo of Fred resting his head on a shelf
I quickly turned all the lights off except for the light right outside the back door … right near Mama Bird’s nest.
She flew towards the door, but then stopped on a window ledge about two feet away.
I think she was confused/panicked and did not understand she couldn’t go through the window.
How to explain the open door to this small creature?
She stood frozen on my windowsill, staring at me.
My mind flashed back to when my daughter had a pet bird several years ago.
I got a towel and approached her slowly.
She stared at me.
I think she knew I wanted to help her.
She didn’t move as I approached.
I covered her with the towel, softly pinning her wings to her side so she wouldn’t break them.
I walked a few steps to the door and opened the towel.
There was the loud buzz of her wings and a blur … she was gone.
It was pouring rain, and very dark.
I couldn’t see where she’d gone, but she had not flown to her nest.
I was happy she could fly ….
That meant she, hopefully, hadn’t injured herself prior to when I picked her up off the windowsill.
I checked her nest a few times before going to sleep Monday night – she was not there.
With sadness, I finally crawled into bed.
How could that motherless nest and eggs make me feel so sad?
Tuesday morning I checked the nest again.
Mama Hummingbird back in her nest keeping her eggs warm!
I was so happy to see her back at home.
Throughout the day, I saw her buzzing around my backyard getting food and then returning to her nest.
I also noticed her nest is lined with soft, supple, Newfie hair.
It must make for a very comfortable home for Mama Hummingbird, and soon – her babies.