SAINT AUGUSTINE – Thanks to the quick action of St. Augustine resident Terri Heymen, a West Virginia hummingbird has a new lease on life.
Last month, Heymen and friend Diane Key were en route to Merrill, Mich., when they encountered a struggling hummingbird at a rest stop on Interstate 64 near Gallagher, W. Va.. “It was draped across the petunias, just draped and not moving,” Heymen recounts, “and I went over and picked it up and it lay there listless. I blew on it to see if it was still alive, and it blinked.”
Rendering first aid to her tiny patient, Heymen “got it into the air conditioned car.” Then, securing a sugar packet from a restaurant at the rest stop, she mixed the sugar with bottled water and poured the mixture into a petunia she picked from the flower bed where she’d found the bird. “I kept pushing its beak into the petunia,” Heymen recounts, and “it finally realized it was sugar water.” Once the tiny bird realized what the mixture was “it just dove in there.”
Heymen tended to the tiny bird for about a half hour. “Once it got some water and got cooled down
it let me pet it. It was just sitting there like it was enjoying everything, and it would drink a little more of that sugar water.” When she decided the bird had regained its strength, she took it back to where the petunias were growing. “I put it down. It sat there for a minute and then flew away.”
Heymen recounts that the bird “was letting me hold it on my fingers, on my arm. It was so pretty. I even had people coming up in the parking lot and watching. They wanted to touch it, but I didn’t want too many people touching it.” Her major concern, she says, was to rejuvenate the bird and let it fly away.