...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hummingbird versus the Skylight

We have three skylights on top of our condo unit.  Two indoors, one outdoors.  They help add to our home's generous flow of natural light and look a lot better than a ceiling.  I think we still like 'em, despite their shockingly shoddy installation [subject for another post, maybe, if I'm drunk].

The two indoor skylights hover over each of our bathrooms.  The outdoor skylight is just outside our front door in a small hallway/atrium.  It lights up that little entranceway with white natural light.  The folks on the floors below don't have this so their entranceway is cavelike during the day.

Returning home from the gym, yesterday morning, I heard a flittering buzzing noise as I approached our front door.  I looked up expecting to see a large moth doing battle with the skylight.  But it wasn't a moth. It was a hummingbird.

He was bashing his tiny hummingbird skull against the skylight desperately trying to fly towards the light.  He thought the window was the sky and this sensory miscalculation was gradually killing him.

I am a softie when it comes to animals, but I am especially smitten by hummingbirds.  Their lovely stop-hover-go-hover-go-hover-stop-hover-go flight mechanics seem to defy the laws of physics.  They display what appears to be a playful character of curiosity and mischief (personification!).  And they're really tiny.

And now here was a hummingbird that was going to die at my front door because of our outdoor skylight.  He (more personification) panicked more every time I stepped into view.  His left wing looked bent out of whack.  And I swore I heard crazed bird squeaks with his every struggle.

I hurried inside.  I'm Stupid City Folk.  What the f**k do I do?  Internet!  Google: hummingbird skylight.  (Note to self: Hummingbird Skylight --> title of my debut New Age Emo Xylophone indy album.)  Sure enough, this is not the first time in history that a hummingbird has gotten stuck in a skylight.  Most folks posted hairier stories about hummingbirds getting stuck indoors.

Here's a link about one of those situations.
Here's a very in-depth page with multiple solutions.
And, yes, there's an LA Hummingbird Rescue line.

A lot of the articles talked about creating a perch for the bird to rest on.  I tried using a broom, but that FREAKED IT THE F*** OUT!  Now he'd slipped into a machine-gun-level effort of bludgeoning himself to death.

Then there were articles about catching it in my bare hand.  Then all of these warnings about being careful to not crush the bird's bones when......I'm not going to finish typing that.

I caught a line about closing all sources of light except an open door or two within the house so the bird will eventually go for that light source.  Suddenly a dim bulb in my own brain turned on.  Though closing off light sources was irrelevant (since the bird was outdoors), I realized that I could cut off the light that was pouring in through the skylight window.  If the bird stopped seeing the light above him, maybe his dumb ass will look for the actual sunlight a few feet away.

I grabbed a rug and large towel and headed for the roof.  [Note: Oh the roof.  I'm only up there when there's trouble.  And I've been up there many many times.]  I covered the window dome in its entirety, making sure to smother all light.  I even hit it a couple of times.  And yelled, "Go, you little sh*t! Go!"

And he went.  Or maybe he disappeared into thin air as magical hummingbirds are apt to do.  The skylight was hummingbird-less.  I did a three-second version of The Running Man, then went indoors and almost passed out from dehydration.

I haven't discovered any bird bodies in the meantime.  Maybe he's alive and flying sideways with his wonky wing.  Or perhaps he's searching for nectar inside tractor trailer tailpipes, thanks to his dain bramage.  Or maybe he's trying to mate with a dachshund.

In any case, you tiny twit.:
You're welcome.  (Source)