February 12, 2015 ( A ) Moving Day

Doctor Bob
Doctor Bob

Hummingbird Rescue

( or how to perform Mouth to Beak Resuscitation )

( carefully, of course )

As I was readying the motorhome and Toad for this mornings departure from Ajo, I caught what I initially thought was a leaf floating to ground from overhead as I was stepping into the motorhome. Since we had brisk swirling winds this morning, at first I thought nothing of it, but when I glanced down to where it had landed in the road, I was dismayed to see that my leaf was actually a male Costa’s hummingbird.

Costa's hummingbird
Costa’s hummingbird

The swirling wind must have somehow caught him off guard or off balance, and he was blown violently into the side of the motorhome. This beautiful little creature was now laying sprawled on his back in the middle of the gravel road, head twisted sharply to one side, wings spread awkwardly, and looking like he had probably breathed his last. I reached down and scooped him up and could see no signs of life, but I have seen this sort of thing before with birds that had flown into windows and seemed to be dead, but then come back to life.

Costa's hummingbird
Costa’s hummingbird

I cupped him in my hand to shelter him from the wind and for a few moments he just laid there on his side, lifeless, but then I swore I thought I saw his head quiver. I righted him and then I saw his head turn, just a little. Keeping him cupped in my hand, I watched as he slowly came back to life. I guess he had knocked himself out, I wonder if hummingbirds get concussions, and exactly what the proper protocal would be for such a thing.

Costa's hummingbird
Costa’s hummingbird

He never made any attempt to get out of my hand, so when he started to seem alert and his eyes were open and apparently checking out his surroundings ( can’t even imagine what he must have been thinking about the monster that was holding him ), I attempted to get him to perch on a branch on the wind sheltered side of the nearby Palo Verde tree. But he either wanted no part of that, or perhaps he now was kind of attached to me, but eventually I was able to get him to grab a branch and I was able to back away and take this last shot.

Costa's hummingbird
Costa’s hummingbird

I am pretty sure this did have a happy ending because only 5 or 10 minutes later as I was tying down the toad on the tow dolly, I was buzzed twice by what I assume might have been one very grateful little Costa’s hummingbird.

Down the Road to Why

Rescue happily resolved, I drove back out to Route 85 and went north a couple of miles back up to Ajo to fill my propane tank and dump my holding tanks plus fill up with fresh water at Belly Acres RV Park, a bargain at just $10.

Then reverse my direction and head back south on Route 85 just 10 miles or so to the tiny town of Why. About 2 miles south of Why, I pull off the west side of the road to the BLM managed Gunsight Wash boon docking area and grab my site for exploring Organ Pipe National Monument. More on this place next post.

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