A HUMMINGBIRDS APRIL FOOLS

I never intended to write this post up but something very unusual happened to one of my Hummingbird friends yesterday, April 1st!

It was near sunset and the Hummers were coming by for their last drink of the night.( Sort of like humans at last call). So I see this one female Anna’s perch and take a few sips. It straightened up…..and then promptly fell backwards! It was still holding onto the perching bar so it was hanging totally upside down like a bat! It held on for a few seconds and then dropped to the concrete below! (6′)

I was obviously very alarmed to see one of my feathered friends fall,so I instantly got up and slide the balcony door open. Sure enough there she was laying on her back not moving and just looking up to me. I very gently picked her up and began talking to her asking “what was wrong”? I could feel her little heart beating very fast but thats normal for Hummers. We looked into each others eyes for a few seconds and then I gently turned her over to right her and as soon as I did that she flew away!

(I swear I heard her laughing! I think my fine feathered friend had pulled a April Fools joke on me!)

I told a friend of mine who is a birding expert (Adrian Dorst) and he said he had never heard of anything like this ever happening before? I read up on this a bit and the closest thing I could find was that Hummers do drop from their perches because of cold weather/ and not having enough energy.

It wasn’t that cold out,maybe 8 C at worse and I know It had been coming all day for drinks so It wasn’t a lack of sugar water.

I think my little friend was playing a big joke on me but I do hope there isn’t anything serious!

I sometimes slide the balcony open and just lean against the frame to watch them coming around for last drink. The feeder is only a few feet away. If I had been doing that at the time I bet I could of done the Hollywood Superman save by quickly catching my friend in mid air!

It happened so fast that there was no way for me to get pictures of this.

Btw,the header and this shot are from my archives.

Update : I did find this article but it basically refutes another person’s assertions that Perch Hypothermia (PH) is the culprit. Still a interesting read https://fieldguidetohummingbirds.com/hummingbirds/perch-hypothermia-threat/

82 thoughts on “A HUMMINGBIRDS APRIL FOOLS

  1. Her success in the April fools joke department will be the talk around the hummingbird feeder this spring. “Did you hear the one pulled on Wayne?”. All joking aside, I hope she’s ok and continues to bring her iridescent beauty to your balcony. Our Ruby-throated hummingbirds haven’t arrived yet. Last I heard they are still down in North Carolina.

    1. She sure got my heart beating fast! I did notice she kept her wings a bit drooping and not tight against her body like the others. That may of meant she lacked energy?
      I hope your little darlings arrive shortly Beth!

  2. What a splendid photo!

    I’m glad to hear that your little hummer recovered. Such an odd thing – I’ve never heard of that before, and I’ve had lots of birds (including hummers) at my feeders (I don’t have feeders now).

    1. Thank you Lynette!
      I loved taking this shot! Having a Hummer perch on your finger is not something you’ll ever forget!
      I’m sure she’s ok,I saw her tonight and she seemed fine!

  3. Aren’t they just to cute, Wayne. I hope your little friend is okay. The loeries were playing with our cat yesterday. They dive bomb her when she stalks them. It is hilarious to watch.

  4. Great story, Wayne! I’ve never seen a hummer fall off a perch, but once I was outside taking pictures of a kinglet. It was hopping around, then suddenly hung upside down from the branch and next thing I saw was the kinglet falling onto the snow. It quickly recovered and went on searching for food. Great photo by the way!!

      1. I hadn’t thought about the falling kinglet until you wrote about your hummer. I will check around and see if I can find out what it could be. Somehow I just thought that the kinglet might have just lost its balance. I’ll let you know if I find out anything! Happy Easter Wayne! 🙋‍♀️

    1. We have Hummers year round. The Rufous (which come in great numbers) during the warmer parts of the year and the Anna’s (which come in small numbers) during winter. The one that fell was an Anna’s Hummingbird.

  5. That is an odd seizure like episode that happened to your hummingbird, Wayne. I had not heard of perch hypothermia before. I wonder what really happened. First time you have seen this?

    1. I’m coping the answer I just gave to Linda Lavinia. It doesn’t completely answer what is going but still gives a possible partial answer?
      I just realized what may be going on?
      I have low blood pressure and one of the side affects of that is feeling faint If I get up too quickly. The body senses not enough oxygen is getting to the brain and so makes it lay down so it can.
      This birds reactions looked very similar to mine! Which means not enough blood is getting to it’s brain? I haven’t a clue WHY but it looks like it fainted and that always means not enough blood is going to the brain.

    2. Yes,this is the first time I’ve seen or heard of something like this Lavinia. So I assume this doesn’t happen very often? A very unique situation.
      Thank you for dropping by and chatting!

  6. That’s pretty amazing that your feathered friend was fine, went upside down, fell and recovered in a matter of moments. I can imagine your fear and its fear … I am glad it did not pass away in your hands and went on to sip again. An April Fool’s joke indeed. :) Though I’m not sure it would want to anger its favorite benefactor by playin’ possum. Next year it should go south – 46F is cold for those little birdies.

    1. I just realized what may be going on?
      I have low blood pressure and one of the side affects of that is feeling faint If I get up too quickly. The body senses not enough oxygen is getting to the brain and so makes it lay down so it can.
      This birds reactions looked very similar to mine! Which means not enough blood is getting to it’s brain? I haven’t a clue WHY but it looks like it fainted and that always means not enough blood is going to the brain.

      1. I used to have very low blood pressure too – (it’s climbed up a little since eating more canned foods). I was out in the garden once in the Summer, bent over pulling weeds and when I righted myself, felt faint. I came inside and barely made it inside the house and had to lay on the kitchen floor as I was afraid I’d fall and break something. Your little feathered friend is lucky you picked him up and held him a moment and he was not on the floor at the mercy of a predator.

      2. the local cat that would take advantage of my feathered friends fainting and falling onto the ground has gone to Cat heaven…….thank God!
        If I hadn’t done anything it would of righted itself eventually. Once being horizontal the blood can flow to the brain better.

      3. Thank God your little friend lived through this ordeal, but it couldn’t have been good for his wings – maybe that’s why they were drooping.

      4. I’m glad she’s fine now Wayne. I once found a baby Robin on the sidewalk. It was not ready to fledge as its wings were too short … it looked so sad and pitiful. It was okay and the mother was in a nearby driveway. I did not usually walk that way and would not walk that way again for a long time, in case a predator got that baby bird when the mother wasn’t looking. You already saw the post, or I’d send it. We are bleeding hearts … that’s okay though.

      5. I was told by a friend about a eagle fight yesterday. Two eagles fought and one fell. My friend went looking for it today but found that it perished. The night was 32F or 0C,so I’m sure that didn’t help. He said the eagle had it’s lower bill ripped away and had many other wounds that he felt no way could a bird survive this!
        Made me sad to think of this poor creature trying to get off of the mudflats and go into the bush for protection. It must of been very scared indeed!

      6. Oh, that is sad … I read an article about two eagles who had a nest in a tall, dead tree and the tree fell from a storm and crashed into the water. The two eaglets perished. I was going to send you the link but it was sad, so I didn’t. I read this today on the Audubon site. I remember reading this woman’s work when I was still in school.
        https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-march-29-2021-1.5967924/margaret-atwood-s-late-partner-loved-birds-in-the-pandemic-she-sees-how-they-help-people-feel-less-alone-1.5967988?fbclid=IwAR0roS9SCytMpUq6iVy6-aT-WFDov8FvjGFVKlZHxOozXO4eVD95IGDe4bA

      7. Sad. I don’t like coming upon feathers in the Park as I know there was a struggle and all that is left are the feathers that were lost as the prey was scooped up and carried off.

      8. Yes, and today as I was walking to the Park something huge was gliding overhead. I suspect it was a hawk, not a turkey vulture as it was fairly low down and I didn’t see that ugly red head. I walked faster knowing it might be headed to the Park to prey on my little buddies but it was not overhead when I got there (probably hiding in a tree).

      9. btw,you need to drink more water to avoid this from happening again. I bet your blood was thicker because of not taking in enough water and so harder to pump. Once the brain realized it wasn’t getting enough oxygen it told your body to lay down.

      10. I have gone through thousands of these “events” over decades! The fainting is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain.
        It does create such a euphoric feeling!
        I am convinced that when we die that this is the beginning of the process. When we die we most certainly have zero oxygen going to the brain which must create this effect.
        It’s like you begin to go down this road but I go down just a ways and come back

      11. when you go through something many many times you become familiar with it! It’s the things you know nothing about that will scare you the most.
        If that “spell” (as my mother would say) of yours on the kitchen floor had happened to you hundreds of times you would not feel as scared. It’s a very natural state of being.

      12. Yes, you are probably right … nowadays, it would probably not be considered “proper” to say “spell” as it might insult witches. You’d say an “event” or an “episode” I’m thinking.

      13. There are a few witches in Tofino and they are lovely people! Very misunderstood people. You can thank Hollywood for that. They wouldn’t mind me using that word one bit!

      14. I wouldn’t disparage them either. My friend/neighbor Marge was a hostess at “The Boston Tea Room” for many years. It was a local tea room where you could go for a slice of cheesecake or a grilled cheese and a cup of tea. The often called themselves witches … they read your tea leaves, or your tarot cards, or your palm. She loved working there and spent much of her free time with her coworkers, which I met several times when they visited her and they hung out on her deck. They opened another tea room and closed the local one after she stopped working there. My mom and I went for a reading before Marge moved in.

      15. Interesting … I never heard that word, so Googled to read up on it. Well, Marge had no psychic powers – they all did have such powers and there was a guy in the group as well and his specialty was a word that escapes me now. He could hold a personal item belong to a person in his hand and tell things about them. He was part of this group and sometimes went with the women. She was quite attached to these coworkers and they spent evenings together too. Marge bought some stones with some magical powers and had them around the house. She had to quit because they used to burn candles and used potpourri and maybe incense … not sure about the incense, but the smell in the store from those items aggravated her lungs … she had the beginning stages of COPD back in 2010, so she quit, but got together with them off-site. Interesting about the Pagan rituals in the forest.

      16. Thank you Wayne – I could not think of that word. My mom and grandmother went to a psychic who practiced psychometry. She was at the Daffodil Tea Room in Toronto in the late 1940s. When they entered the room, she was not present. They had to drop a personal item in a basket. My mom used her watch, my grandmother a clip-on earring. The fortune teller stood on a stage and told the fortunes of each person’s item, then asked them to come retrieve the object and asked if her prediction could happen. Okay, yes, maybe she was hiding behind a two-way window or off to the side. But then she said some uncannily true things. She told my mom she would marry a fair-haired man from across water. My mother was sitting on the front porch a short time later and my father, who had light-colored hair and had just moved to Toronto from Germany, came up the sidewalk and asked for directions. They started dating, were engaged three years later. I never heard what she told my grandmother but I heard that story of my parents growing up several times.

      17. Do you hyperventilate into a paper bag Wayne? I worked with someone who did deep breathing exercises and use a paper bag if she got really nervous or worried about something and began to hyperventilate and it worked well for her.

      18. yes,but remember the normal scenario is that it’s at night (end of the day when I’m most tired),I’ve been sitting or laying down for awhile and get up too quickly.
        So out in the boat I have no problem cause my heart is going faster from the adventure!

      19. I didn’t realize it was at the end of the day or in the evening. Yes, your heart beats out of your chest when you are on a shoot/adventure.

      20. You’re the only person I know that experiences this, though my mom had very low blood pressure and the doctor remarked on it at the end of her last surgery. I had low blood pressure too, but not so low now that I eat more canned soups (despite them being low sodium).

      21. I’ll bet it scared your folks (as well as you) when it first began happening. I had a acquaintance who had narcolepsy. I was part of a group of six college students who represented our college at the National Model United Nations in New York in April 1976. We represented the country Egypt. Jim was my partner at the conference – we had to study together so we knew everything we could about the International Monetary Fund. Jim told me that he had narcolepsy and not be afraid or insulted if he fell asleep while I was talking to him, or if he was talking to me. He did that … he’d nod off and go into a dead sleep. He couldn’t drive as it was too dangerous. The six of us would study together and we hung out together the week we were in New York, but he would be animated and having a good time, maybe at dinner even, and he’d go into a deep slumber.

  7. So was the bird injured from the fall, then?

    Have you seen it since (or would you recognize her?)

    I hope it was only an April Fool’s Day joke and that she will be back (or has been back) again.

    I love how you always seek input from your expert friend(s) with respect to unusual happenings with your animal/bird friends.

    A and S

    1. No,she wasn’t hurt in the slightest Angie. I’ve seen her back drinking away merrily. Tonight there was huge traffic jam!!!! There had to twenty Hummers all jostling for only four feeding stations! I think I saw three at one station. Two sitting beside each other and another humming above taking it’s turn!
      I need to buy a much BIGGER feeder! I’ve seen one on line that has 12 stations! I can drill another 12 holes and fit the flowerettes on them to double the stations to 24!….In theory at least? Even still they would most certainly be doubling up still I bet guaranteed!
      I ask Adrian because he knows what he’s talking about. With me,I guess.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s