Hummingbird Takes Flight

PATIENT:  Ruby-throated Hummingbird, #10-2013 LOCATION:  Stuarts Draft, Augusta County, Virginia CAUSE OF ADMISSION:   Covered in pine sap ADMISSION DATE:  September 18 PROGNOSIS:  Released, September 20 On Saturday, September 18th, an adult Ruby-throated Hummingbird was admitted to the Wildlife Center after it was found  in a yard in Stuarts Draft, Virginia.  The bird was unable to fly, and the reason soon became clear ... and sticky.  His beak, left leg, and left wing were covered in a gummy pine sap.  On Monday morning, Dr. Kelly Flaminio bathed this tiny bird to remove some of the sap -- a nerve-wracking task, to say the least.  Using a non-toxic adhesive remover, warm water, and a tiny bit of Dawn dish detergent, she painstakingly removed the sap from this three-gram bird.  After a quick blow-dry with a hairdryer (set on low, of course!) this hummingbird spent about an hour warming up in one of the Center's incubators.   When staff wildlife rehabilitator Dani Stumbo checked on the bird later in the morning, the hummingbird made an attempt to fly out of the incubator.  This sign of progress earned the bird a move to a larger enclosure, where it vigorously flew around, hovering in mid-air -- a sure indication that Dr. Kelly's bath had done the trick.  Dani released the sap-free hummingbird in Stuarts Draft on Monday afternoon.  There's no charge to bring an animal to the Wildlife Center for treatment and care.  We rely on the generosity of caring individuals.  Your donation will help support the Center’s life-saving work with about 2,500 wild animals in need. 

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