Local

‘Exhausted’ hummingbird found on SC firehouse floor might be their tiniest rescue ever

Richburg, South Carolina firefighters nurse a hummingbird back to health with a cap full of water.
Richburg, South Carolina firefighters nurse a hummingbird back to health with a cap full of water. Richburg Fire-Rescue

The tiny bird was just a little iridescent green spot on the floor of the Richburg Fire-Rescue engine bay.

The hummingbird couldn’t stand or fly, but it landed in the right place.

40297228_932768673574935_1223114533082497024_o.jpg
Richburg, South Carolina firefighters nurse a hummingbird back to health with a cap full of water. Richburg Fire-Rescue

Firefighters found the bird “exhausted and dehydrated,” the department wrote on Facebook Aug. 29.

Chief John Agee, Fire Marshal David McCain and firefighter Jobeth Holmes sat beside it, offering it water from the plastic cap of a water bottle “until it was able to stand and fly away,” assistant fire chief T. Melton told The News & Observer. The little bird was smaller than a firefighter’s finger.

40318566_932768840241585_516414120208105472_o.jpg
Richburg, South Carolina firefighters nurse a hummingbird back to health with a cap full of water. Richburg Fire-Rescue

“You can teach almost anyone how to be a firefighter, a medic or just about anything imaginable. What is virtually impossible to teach is compassion,” the department wrote. “We are fortunate that we have a tremendous group in our department that has passion and desire to help, regardless of the situation.

“This isn’t the first time this has happened and knowing our members, it will not be the last!”

The firehouse is considering putting up a hummingbird feeder, Melton told The N&O.

“I think we are going to have to,” he said. “They are finding their way in, but can’t figure out how to exit. They never attended any of our fire prevention programs about having an exit plan.”

Richburg is located between Charlotte, North Carolina and Columbia, South Carolina.

We perched a phone on a feeder, and got surprised. Video by Helen Schwab.

Hummingbirds begin appearing up in the Carolinas usually in late March, but they peak in midsummer, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

“Hummingbirds consume 50 percent of their body weight daily in sugar, which makes it one of the most important food items in a hummer’s diet,” according to SCDNR.

For 3 ½ weeks Garry and Pat Porter have hosted an uninvited house guest, one that seldom leaves and who recently showed up with her two kids, too. But the guest, thumb-sized Ruby, the ruby-throated hummingbird, has been the highlight of the summer

People can mimic a hummingbird’s natural diet of nectar and tree sap by placing a sugar solution (not honey or artificial sweeteners) of one part sugar to four parts water in a hummingbird feeder, according to SCDNR.

While hummingbirds may peak in the summer, SCDNR encourages people to leave feeders up during the fall, to give a safe place for late migrants to feed and rest as they head to Mexico and Central America for the winter.

Want to see a hummingbird up close? Every two weeks during the season (late April to late August), the Intermountain Bird Observatory invites the public to come watch as they net, band and gather data on the hummingbirds that frequent Jennifer Alb

Related stories from Charlotte Observer

  Comments