I saw some very interesting hummingbird activity this morning. Two of them were jostling over the feeder as they generally do. One was circling the other while she was drinking. I think the one circling the feeder was an immature male. Suddenly, the female left the feeder, chased the male a short distance, he dropped to the ground, and then she sat on him for a few seconds. They both got back up, she went back to drinking, he came back, and then they did it again. I ran outside because I thought it might be fighting and that I would have to take one of them to Operation Wildlife. However, they both flew up to a branch and sat about a foot away from each other for several minutes. The female flew off, but the young male stayed on the branch for a long time. I watched for a while just in case he was injured, but he came to drink, then flew away. I have never seen anything like that. The sight of one hummingbird pinning another to the ground was quite something. Curious, I did a search and it seems this behavior is not uncommon and can sometimes be quite violent. I certainly hope they don’t hurt each other!
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From Operation Wildlife.
Day 1 ~
My name is Buckshot. I was laying in a field minding my own business when a human boy stumbled across me. I laid very still like my maw had told me to do with my head flattened against the ground and barely moving. He saw me anyway and picked me up despite my protests. He took me home to his maw.
They put me in a box and she started looking at something called the Internet to find out what to feed me. She kept touching me and putting her lips on my face ~ I thought at any minute she is going to bite me, kill me and eat me. I cried for my maw but she wasn’t there to hear me. The humans left but later that day they came back and shoved an awful tasting thing in my mouth. The human squeezed stuff in my mouth and it was warm and sorta tasted like milk from my maw.
I didn’t like it and would swallow alittle bit of it but they kept squeezing. It dribbled down the bottom of my face and onto my chest. Some of it came out my nose and it stung. I coughed because I couldn’t breathe well. The human kept touching me. I bawled for my maw.
Day 2 ~
The humans are giving me the warm stuff again. I’m getting used to the taste of it and I’ll drink alittle bit of it but it still isn’t my maw. I’ve been crying for my maw but she doesn’t answer. I don’t know where she is or why she won’t come to me like she always did. My belly hurts. I haven’t gone to the bathroom in a day now. My maw used to groom me and helped me to go. All these humans do is put their lips on my face and stroke my head and back
Day 3 ~
My cry is weaker ~ I can’t stand. My belly is hurting more. The humans are squeezing more and more of the warm stuff into my mouth ~ I’m tired and just want to sleep. I bawl for my maw again but she still doesn’t answer
Day 4 ~
They keep touching me and squeezing stuff into my mouth ~ I don’t care anymore. My short time on this earth is about at an end. I hear the human talking to someone. They pick me up and wrap me in a large towel. We’re moving really fast. I arrive at a place that smells of other wild animals. I still don’t smell my maw and I cry. Another human takes me. She opens my mouth, listens to me breath and pulls up on my skin. I cry. She takes me into another room and puts me in a large tub with a soft towel. It’s warm. She pinches my skin and something bites me. I cry. She grooms me like my maw did and my belly begins to stop hurting because I’m able to go to the bathroom now. It’s been three days. She covers the tub and it’s dark. I lay still and I’m quiet ~ drifting off to sleep.
Evening comes and I feel better ~ the new human is talking softly to me. She’s says that she is sorry that the others didn’t understand how I was supposed to live ~ to be wild and free and that she’ll make sure that I get to see that life again. She tells me I have pneumonia and that because I couldn’t go to the bathroom the toxins in my urine were backing up into my bloodstream & I was dying. She says that she is sorry that she had to put an IV catheter in me to rehydrate and flush my system of the toxins and that she has to give me antibiotics to help with the pneumonia because they squeezed the warm stuff so much that I breathed it into my lungs and it made me sick.
Day 5 ~
I’m standing! I haven’t stood in 2 days. I feel so much better. The new human says I’m gonna live and she is going to send me to another lady that takes special care of fawns like me. I’ll have other fawns to play with so I grow up knowing that I’m a deer. I’ll never see my maw again and I’m sad about that but happy that I’ll live. Thank you.
Addendum from editor ~ white tailed deer fawns have no scent for the first two weeks of their life. The doe gives birth to twins or triplets and places them in different locations so that if a predator comes it doesn’t kill her entire family. The fawns aren’t strong enough to follow the doe until they are about two weeks of age so she visits them under the cover of darkness and nurses them. During the day she beds down in order not to attract attention to herself or her family. Since fawns of this age can’t outrun a predator they rely on their spots as camouflage. They freeze and lie perfectly still and wait for the danger to pass. We have 48-72 hours to return a fawn to its mother. Unfortunately in this case the woman only took the time to find out what to feed it (which was the wrong thing) and not to look any farther to find out what to do with it. When she was asked what her plan was for the fawn when it grew up, she replied to let it go. Go to what? The fawn was clearly being habituated and would have grown up without fear of people and without knowledge of her own kind. So what happens when she goes up to a hunter looking for a hug? She would have been an easy target. Or what happens when she goes into rut (breeding season for bucks)? She wouldn’t have had any fear of people and could easily have mauled, gored or struck a person to death with her hooves or antlers (if male). As humans, we have a responsibility to get all the facts and not stop short just because we’re satisfying our own emotional needs. It saddens, frustrates and angers me when these events happen. Knowledge is one of our most valuable tools in this life ~ pass it on and maybe you can help save another from this kind of fate. The above is from Operation Wildlife, courtesy of Diane Johnson (Executive Director ). Thanks for supporting Operation Wildlife.
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