Continuing Care Retirement Community

Continuing Care Retirement Community

How I Became a "Hummingbird Whisperer" It all started this summer.  But then again, in thinking about it, I suppose it really began last fall. It was a cold and rainy September morning as I sat reading in my sun porch.  Suddenly there was a “thump” against the window and when I ventured out onto my deck to see what happened I found a tiny ruby throated hummingbird lying motionless on my rain soaked deck.  I picked it up.   It was warm and soft, but to all appearances looked dead.   But rather than casting it aside, I held it in my cupped hand and blew on it.  To my amazement it came back to life and sat in my hand looking about and then at me.  And then it flew off to begin its fall migration south. Now jump forward to this spring – April 21st to be exact.  I have the date recorded in my diary. SaraBigI have always been fond of birds, and for many years have fed hummingbirds sugared water from a variety of devices.  But this spring I had forgotten to hang my feeder on the porch.   On April 21st it was not there. But on that April morning as I sat at my desk, a hummingbird appeared at my window and hovered, seeming to look in at me.  To be sure children’s stories would have us believe that this was the same hummingbird that came to life in my hand.  But I did not at that time permit myself such thoughts, because who really knows about such things and whether or not this could be the case And so I scrambled to find my feeder, once again filling it with sugared water. How I Became a "Hummingbird Whisperer"But this year I hung it not at the end of the porch railing, but rather from the roof gutter so that it dangled directly in front of the desk where I work – probably 3 – 4 feet distant, with glass between. The hummingbirds – and there were several of them that came in the days that followed– were at first reluctant to come so close, although one of them seemed less fearful.  So at first I would sit 7 or 8 feet away.  But soon I returned to my desk at a distance of 3 or 4 feet.  No problems with the hummers.  We were getting used to each other. JoeShoppedLater, in June, I tried sitting beneath their feeder on the porch.  Again a problem – unwillingness on their part to feed while I read.  So I backed away a bit, and then later moved closer as I gained their trust. Finally I introduced the tiny cups that I now use to feed them from my hand, placing them on their feeder.  Again no problem.   Then the cups were moved next to my chair.  Gradually the hummers came.  The cups were moved closer and closer as we got used to each other.  Finally I placed the cups in my hand.  No, they preferred feeding from the feeder above my head.  So on Thursday morning, August 24, I took that down and held the cups.  To my amazement, a hummingbird came and drank.  Soon others came and drank and since then they come to me without hesitancy – except, unfortunately, when I tried to introduce third parties.  My dream was to have my granddaughter be able to feed one from her hand. But when we tried, the hummingbirds would not even come anywhere near my porch.  And even that evening after she left they didn’t come as usual The next day they  finally did return, but were definitely more wary, buzzing back and forth in front of my face.  Was I the same creature whom they had learned to trust?  There was, I then discovered, an element of personal identity at play, along with the trust. But this is not to say that you, too, cannot accomplish what I have done.  Yes it takes time and patience and lots of trust building.  But it can be done, particularly if you start, as so accidentally happened to me last September,  with an experience of the miracle of Life and Creation. by Pete McCord

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Medford Main Campus
One Medford Leas Way
Medford, NJ 08055

Lumberton Campus
180 Woodside Drive
Lumberton, NJ 08048

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