About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Getting a hummingbird out of a garage

With baby and migrating hummingbirds passing through the area it is not uncommon for a one of these curious birds to get drawn in to investigate something red in your garage. Once inside the birds panic and instinct tells them to fly up, up, up to get out. These amazing birds that can fly forward, backward, up, down and sideways can’t always figure the way out.

I have an awning in front of the Wild Birds Unlimited store that traps birds all the time. A giant pool skimmer was my solution to encourage the stuck birds down and out. And this week a customer called and said they were successful rescuing a hummingbird from the garage with a butterfly net.

Hummingbirds.net suggests: First, keep pets and kids away so they won't make the bird more anxious, and try hanging your most popular hummingbird feeder in the door opening and stand back. Sometimes this will bring a hungry bird to feed, and it may fly off in the correct direction when it's finished. But this doesn't always work, and you shouldn't waste too much time - the bird's clock is ticking. If the hummer isn't gone within 10 minutes or so, turn on the inside garage light, close the overhead door, and get a flashlight. When the hummer flies over a clear section of the floor, turn off the light. Hummingbirds have poor night vision and don't like to fly in the dark, and the bird will flutter gently to the floor. Turn on your flashlight, find the bird, and scoop it urgently in your cupped bare hands. Have an assistant open the door, and carry the hummer away from the garage. Offer the bird a drink by holding it close to the feeder, but don't try to force it. After it drinks, or refuses to drink, open your hands, and when the bird reorients itself, it will fly away - probably straight up. It may lie still in your hand for several minutes, or it may leave immediately. Hummingbirds don't usually carry parasites, but wash your hands afterward anyway.

Note: if your garage has windows and cannot be darkened, this rescue technique won't work. Instead, hang a feeder high up, inside the garage, so the bird can feed itself and rest comfortably. Leave it alone, and leave the door open in case it calms down enough to figure out how to leave. Near dusk, the flashlight technique will work better.

Thriving Home Blog suggests: Use a sweep-type garden rake (the kind used to rake leaves, with long flexible tines) or hummingbird feeder on a pole. Then stand below the hummer, slowly raise the rake up near the bird and offer the tine end. If the hummer is tired enough it will seek a perching spot. With the hummer perched on the rake, gently carry it toward the open door, moving slowly and carefully so you won’t spook it off its perch. As soon as the hummingbird sees the open sky it will fly out of the garage.

Should this ever happen to you, good luck I hope these methods work.

Related Articles:
What is the nectar recipe for hummingbirds? http://goo.gl/MK3AU
Fun Facts about Ruby-throated Hummingbirds http://goo.gl/jcjcr
The Best Hummingbird Feeders http://bit.ly/L4yY3i
Why the color on a hummingbirds’ throat flashes http://bit.ly/JZ31qX
When did people start to feed hummingbirds?: http://bit.ly/o8Y8HR

getting a hummingbird out of a garage

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