A few days ago as dusk approached I discovered a large moth — no, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird — trapped on our sunporch. No time for a photo shoot, just a quick snap with my ever-present camera while I considered what to do and confirmed what I was seeing.
First, remove the cat, who fortunately was snoozing. Next, hang the nectar feeder in the open doorway, hoping to entice the hummingbird to freedom. No luck. It stayed high and on the far side of the room, repeatedly buzzing against the highest panes of glass, occasionally perching on a rail or on the ceiling fan.
Hummingbirds migrate thousands of miles, but still they seem like such tiny, fragile things. I was afraid to try to trap it.
Next, a cornhusk broom held high to block its view encouraged it to the other side of the room. Progress, but it was still flying at windows too high to find the doorway.
Then the unexpected happened. The hummingbird landed on the upright broom! I carried broom and bird outside, and away it flew.
Another hummingbird was flying high nearby and would have been within view from inside.
A happy ending.
Hummingbirds are feeding heavily this week on liatris and other flowers and at nectar feeders as they prepare for their fall migration. The flowers and feeders are well away from the sunporch, so the visit remains a mystery.
Here’s a juvenile male Ruby-throated Hummingbird fueling up for his first migration south. I wonder if he was the visitor.