A hummingbird who had gotten thoroughly lost on his annual migration south has been put back on track to his long journey to warmer weather, all thanks to a pilot who was kind enough to give the little bird a free lift via private plane.
When bird-lover Tina Wall of St. Paul, Minn., first spotted the conspicuously copper-colored rufous hummingbird feasting on her front yard bird feeder earlier this month, she knew that something was amiss. The tiny bird, weighing about the same as a penny, is rarely seen outside of the Pacific Northwest, where they spends the summer breeding before migrating south to Mexico - so it was clear that this bird was many, many miles off course.
And with a cold front fast approaching, Wall was well aware that he probably wouldn't last for long.
Fortunately, she was able to capture the wayward new arrival in a rescue cage, after which she placed him in the caring hands of experts from a nearby clinic, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota (WRC).
When The Dodo spoke with WRC director Phil Jenni a few days after the rescue, the hummingbird's condition was stable, but his future was still uncertain.
"The bird is in pretty good shape," said Jenni. "He is underweight, but we're getting him up to typical migration weight. Now we're trying find him a lift home."
(Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota)