Written by Paul O’Connor of Florida
I was employed as an electrical engineer at an industrial electronic supplier just south of Birmingham, Alabama. I was the last to leave for the day and was checking to make sure the warehouse was locked when I noticed a very small bird lying on the floor near the office door. It was a ruby-throated hummingbird. At first I thought it was dead, another victim of being caught in the warehouse unable to fly out, distracted by the white ceiling and the lights.
As I approached her, she started to move her head a little. I decided to move fast and gently cupped her in my hands to keep her from escaping back within the warehouse. I could feel her trying to escape from my hands so I made a hasty retreat for the outside. When I made it outside, I opened my hands as she took flight. She was only able to fly about ten feet and hit the ground. At that point, I knew she would be too weak to fly and search for nourishment. I decided that I would take her home and somehow feed her until she was strong enough to make it on her own. I went back into the office and found a cardboard box to put her into for the ride home. She was semi-conscience when I picked her up and placed her in the box. I thought this must be the torpor state that they get into when they run out of nourishment.