Friday, July 10, 2009

spot the nerd.

I never expected in my whole life
to be holding two hummingbirds
in the palm of my hand but
wednesday around 4:30 that's
exactly what happened.

I had just finished recording
for the day. casey wood, my engineer
was backing up the files to a hard
drive as I waited by a studio window
watching two hummingbirds chasing
one another in the trees. it's not
unusual to see hummingbirds here,
I have feeders in the front and back of my house. we get a large variety of birds feeding all the time. sometimes the deck looks more like an airport landing strip.
all of a sudden the two hummingbirds flew straight into the window! bam bam!
as I rushed outside I was horrified to think I would probably find them dead, their necks broken. I picked up the first one.
it was such a beautiful tiny creature.
and it was alive.

sometimes birds fly into a window and stun themselves. if you pick
them up and gently bring them out of their shock eventually they
fly away. this has happened many times to me.
the second hummingbird lay face down in the grass. I knew it
must be dead. but when I picked it up I was amazed to find
it was alive too. now I had two hummingbirds in the palm of my hand!

for a good 10 minutes or more they both sat in my open hand,
blinking and looking around while I stroked their gorgeous
golden feathers, telling them everything would be alright.
eventually the smaller of the two woke out of his daze and
realizing, "yikes! I'm on the hand of a human!"
it buzzed off, landing nearby on the deck where it sat for a few
more minutes. finally number two did the same.

it was such a magical experience for me.

hummingbirds are very special not just because they're so tiny
or because they can flap their wings 1,000 times per minute.
most people know they are also the only birds who can hover
like a helicopter and the only birds who can fly backwards!
but did you know they are the only birds who cannot walk?!
(apart from boneless chickens, of course)

it was a gift to hold them.


  1. it's often a very special moment when nature comes in our citizens (or sort-of citizens) life...
    i remember when some years ago a parrot come into my room: after a week of reciprocal suspects and some bread/biscuits we became friends for several years.
    Hummingbirds are obviously much less interested than parrots in living into some home (my friend liked also watching tv, i can't imagine why), but maybe they have some interesting in your music! maybe they came just to suggest you something in your ear, with a little voice.
    Can you hear that suggestion? :-)


  2. That's cool Ade. In Chicago hummingbirds are not that common, but we have two feeders out and sometimes see them in the Fall.

    See you at Martyrs ...

  3. what a great story, thanks for sharing...hummingbirds have a new magical special place in my heart...less than a week after my dad passed away in july 2007, i was sitting on my front porch and a hummingbird appeared out of nowhere and hovered just inches away from my face at eye level. I was stunned silent as it stayed in place for what seemed like an hour but in reality it was at least a was purposeful and not budging, eventually i said quietly, "Dad?"...then it was gone and i this will sound crazy out there but a similar event with a hummingbird happened within days to my sister in miami on her front porch.
    good story ade...
    thanks for the memory of my hummingbird story.
    robin in atlanta

  4. so awesome and rare an experience, Adrian...

  5. Hee hee hee, you said, "number two."

  6. Adrian, you're keeping those windows too clean!!!

    See you in a few days my brother


  7. I'm glad that happened in the way you described it Ade! Hummers are so cool - glad you got a few up-close seconds with one. - S.

  8. Good story.

    My girlfriend and I found a small bird in the driveway of our condo in downtown Chicago. Looked like a sand piper or something. It obviously hit a window and fell.

    It was alive, but seemed pretty messed up. We didn't know what to do.

    Eventually, one of us kept watch on it while the other went upstairs and surfed the Web for help.

    There was a number for a bird rescue hotline that was connected to our city's Audubon Society, and we called them.

    Taking their advice, we put the bird in a shoebox, taped it and brought it upstairs for the night.

    The rescue people came in the morning to pick it up. Frankly, I thought the bird would be dead, but when they opened the box it was alive and pretty lively.

    They said it seemed fine, but they took it back to their shelter for a couple days of R and R before it was released to continue its migration.

    It's a good feeling.

  9. I have a feeder in my backyard and I feed the local birds on a daily basis. To sit and watch them is a form of meditation for me...

    Especially when the males will actually drop the seeds into the mouhts of the pregnant females. It's a truly beautiful thing to witness.

  10. I believe it was one of your many ecstatic moments in life.
    And thanks for the information about these birds.
    I never knew many facts like, they can't walk.
    Domain registration india

  11. My wife and I often have coffee on the front porch in the morning and have been treated to a show by a humming bird that comes around every now and then. The show is short but it is a magical few moments with this beautiful little bird.

  12. beautiful story. very poetic. thank you.

  13. I'm a real bird geek, though, seeing as how I have never visited North or South America yet, I have never seen a hummingbird of any species. Swifts can't walk either, but, then, swifts are allied to hummingbirds, to some extent.