A few days ago I was working in the yard. I left the side door that provides access from the garage to the yard open.
At some point, a hummingbird flew into the garage. I have a feeder hanging from the roof just a few feet from the door I'd left open. I put it up just a week ago, when I noticed a hummer had returned, looking for it.
I didn't even think about a hummer flying into the garage.
When later I went into the garage, I heard the unmistakable thrumming of hummer wings in flight. The poor thing was flying against a window set about six feet away from the door. She could see freedom, she just couldn't figure out how to access it. Her long, pointed beak would tap lightly against the window, she'd pull back an inch, try again...over and over. It broke my heart.
How to help her without frightening her too much?
I tried walking close to her, off to the side farthest from the door, thinking that might prompt her to fly toward the open door.
Nope. She just increased her efforts to escape through the window.
I tried using my hand to shoosh her toward the door. She tried even harder to escape through the glass.
She was getting tired. I was getting concerned. I have no idea how long she'd been at her Sisyphean task. I vainly tried to help her. She'd stop flying and land on the window sill, catch her breath, then try again. Over and over. Neither of us was succeeding.
I occurred to me that perhaps the method I use to remove bees and wasps from inside the house might work: get a bowl and a rigid magazine, trap the creature between the window and bowl, slip the magazine between the window and bowl, trapping the creature in the bowl, then carefully transport them outside before removing the magazine and letting them fly away.
I dashed into the kitchen, grabbing a plastic salad bowl and a Bark Magazine. For some reason it seemed appropriate to use Bark Magazine for this task.
As I cautiously approached the hummer with the bowl, she became more agitated. She tried again to fly through the window. It was clear I wasn't going to be able to trap her between the window and bowl without lots of trauma.
I tried using the magazine in the way I'd earlier tried using my hands, shooshing her toward the open door. No luck. But I kept trying.
Then, suddenly, as the upper edge of the magazine got close to her, she simply landed on it. Resting!
Yet as soon as I started walking her and Bark closer to the door, she flew right back into the window.
I brought the magazine close, and again she landed, and rested. As I started moving the magazine, she took off toward the window. We repeated this dance several times.
I'm really frustrated, and worried she's going to completely wear herself out.
The next time she landed on Bark, I stood still, didn't move the magazine, but brought the bowl close. The first time the bowl approached, she flew. But the next time I got her back on the magazine, I slowly brought the bowl over her, from above.
It was almost like putting a sheet over a bird cage in order to induce the parakeet to quiet and sleep.
With the bowl hovering over her while she perched on the edge of Bark, we carefully moved to the open door. As soon as I was standing directly in front of the door, I lifted the bowl and she flew - out over the yard and away into the clear blue sky.
Success! Fly, baby, fly!
I like to think she's one of the hummers who constantly swings by for a drink. I took these photos a couple days later, just before sunset.