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Saving a hummingbird: Feeling the beat of its tiny heart!

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 at 6:51 am in hummingbirds, Wildlife.

Saving a hummingbird. Photo by Donna Manguiat, Castro Valley, CA
hummer2 donna manguiat

When looking back on 2010, my most cherished moment was saving the life of a hummingbird on Thanksgiving Day

It was early Thanksgiving morning and we were loading up the RAV for the annual family brunch.  I  remember how awfully cold it was and all of a sudden my husband yelled “Oh NO, come over here quick, it’s a dead hummingbird.”

I ran over to the little, still body laying under the empty feeder.  Swearing with my last dying breathe that I would never let the feeder be empty again. I picked it up in my hand and  saw its eye move.  OMG!!  It still had a chance to live.

Saving a hummingbird. Photo by Donna Manguiat, Castro Valley, CA
hummer donna manguiat

With this precious little life in the palm of my hand I ran in the house, grabbed everything I needed to mix some hummingbird nectar, got an eyedropper, put a drop in its mouth and prayed.  A little spark seemed to come into its eyes and I said, “Thank You.”  I moved the dropper to the end of its beak and its slender, little tongue came out and it couldn’t drink fast enough.

As I’m holding it in my hand I can feel its heart beating. It was an experience I truly will never forget.

My little friend was too weak to fly so we fixed a box and put him in a warm, sunny spot to rest and recuperate.  All the while his lady was outside calling for him.  After 3 or 4 hours we took the box outside, lifted the top and off he flew to his lady who was still calling and waiting for him.

Gary, he still flies by our kitchen window and feeds from our FULL FEEDER.  I feel very blessed in having a part in saving his life, plus how many people get to experience the beating of a hummingbird’s heart?   BEAUTIFUL.

The miracle of all this, too, is that we have 3 feral cats who live with us and they left him alone.
Donna Manguiat, Castro Valley, Calif.

Saving a hummingbird. Photo by Donna Manguiat, Castro Valley, CA
hummer3 donna manguiat

Remembering the feel of the tiny beat of a hummingbird’s heart. What a wonderful way to celebrate the coming of the New Year! Treasure it always. /Gary

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5 Responses to “Saving a hummingbird: Feeling the beat of its tiny heart!”

  1. bird lover Says:

    Thank you for saving that poor little birdie!

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  3. Taj Says:

    On my way home from the gym this morning (Brentwood), I was startled by this awesome, large raptor looking bird flying high above me. Although I wanted to pull over, there were too many distractions. It was dark (brown or black) with a white head and all-white tail feathers. Very windy conditions did not seem to phase this beautiful creature. Larger than a hawk yet not as large as a turkey vulture. It was so beautiful. I came home and looked it up in both my Sibley’s book and online at: All signs point to a bald eagle. Is it possible?

  4. Gary Bogue Says:

    To Taj:
    Yep, it sounds like it was a bald eagle. There are a few balds nesting in Contra Costa County and they have been seen cruising around your neck of the woods before. /Gary

  5. Tai Says:

    Nice story. It’s a wonderful feeling to be responsible for reviving another life. (Plus, it inspired me to run outside and clean and refill my hummingbird feeder!)

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