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 A juvenile Allen's Hummingbird enjoys a nectar snack at WildCare.
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Young hummingbird at WildCare. Photo by Alison Hermance

This little bird, a juvenile Allen's Hummingbird, was sitting, looking ill and depressed at the side of the path in San Francisco's Presidio near Mountain Lake.

Although this tiny bird has most of his adult plumage, he's still a baby as you can tell from the last remaining white pin feathers on his forehead. There's no way to know how he ended up grounded, but whatever happened to him, this little bird needed help.

Fortunately a Park Service employee saw him, picked him up and, placing him gently in a small box, brought him to WildCare.

Story continues below...
Tiny juvenile Allen's Hummingbird. Photo by Alison Hermance
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"5 for 15"

Did you know that WildCare helps 800 - 900 baby birds in our hospital each year during Baby Season?

To make them healthy for their future lives back in the wild, our hospital staff and volunteers step in as "Mom" to feed our tiniest baby birds 15 times a day. Our nestling crows are no exception— they need to be fed every 45 minutes too when they're very young!

It costs $5 to provide 15 meals a day for each one of of these little bird patients!

Please support “5 for 15” today by making a gift in any increment of $5 to help us provide at least one day’s worth of meals for a baby bird!.

Our goal is to raise at least $10,000 by July 15 to pay for 2,000 meals for the baby bird patients that are in our hospital during this time period!

Baby Mockingbird at WildCare. Photo by Melanie Piazza
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Allen's Hummingbird. Photo by Brenda Goeden
An older Allen's Hummingbird in Foster Care is almost ready to be released.
Photo by Brenda Goeden
Young hummingbird on nest in foster care. Photo Brenda Goede
WildCare Hummingbird Foster Care providers feed babies like this one up to every 20 minutes!
Photo by Brenda Goeden

Once in our Birdroom, Medical Staff examined him. This is a delicate thing to do because these birds are so tiny and fragile, but WildCare bird experts are accustomed to gently manipulating fragile wings and feet to check for injuries.

No injuries were found, and the report on his medical chart said he was "BAR" (bright, alert and responsive).

The little bird was given specially-formulated nectar which perked him up while he waited to go to Foster Care with WildCare's hummingbird specialist.

Caring for hummingbirds is an incredibly demanding job. When young, these tiny birds with incredibly fast metabolisms must be fed every 20 minutes during the daylight hours. Hummingbirds in the wild feed their young a regurgitated slurry made up of nectar and insects, and the formula we give our orphaned babies has the same components.

As the chick grows the percentage of insects and sugar in the formula is adjusted, as is the time between feeds.

As of Friday afternoon, this little patient was about two days from flying. He's currently housed in a large reptarium (a type of screened cage) but will be moved to an aviary in the next few days after older patients, now almost full grown, have been released.

What do you do if you find an injured hummingbird? Click to find out and learn more about these fascinating little birds!

Story and video by Alison Hermance

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That this little hummingbird patient was found in San Francisco's Presidio (red X at left) reminds us that wildlife is everywhere this time of year!

Keep your eyes open and keep WildCare's 24-hour Hotline number 415-456-SAVE (7283) at the ready in case you find an animal in need!


Get the t-shirt!

This little hummingbird is in WildCare Foster Care right now... buy a t-shirt to show your support for this adorable baby and WildCare receives $25 for your purchase!

Click here to choose from a selection of awesome t-shirts
(or a tote bag, mousepad or coffee mug ) featuring this very special baby!

All merchandise features this beautiful little bird.

Buy now and WildCare will receive $25 from your purchase as a donation.

Shop now...

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