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Hummingbird Rescue #2: Lavender Essential Oil for Trauma & Shock

anna's hummingbird, lavender, christmas lights on a fence composite image
“The first rescue (July 31st) was successful and today's second rescue looks like it may end up having a happy ending, too.”

Our Essential Oils For Healing blog celebrated its 4th anniversary on December 23rd! All month, I’ve been pondering what sort of essential oils article or story to share in commemoration of this milestone…

Since December is a season of celebration, hope and renewal.. and Christmas week included the winter solstice marked by an awesome full moon lunar eclipse… a HAPPY Lavender essential oil story seems fitting.

Cats, Ants, and Birds….Oh, My!

Unfortunately, our cat Jaeci can’t resist hunting backyard creatures. This year, she brought two hummingbirds in the house. The first rescue (July 31st) was successful and today’s second rescue looks like it may end up having a happy ending, too.

grey and white cat snuggled in gold foil garland
Our golden eyed ‘Yule’ kitty, Jaeci, enjoying a box of Christmas garlands.

12-26-10
During the night, ants had invaded one of my potted orchids. Cold winter rains and soaked gardens always chase hoards of ants inside for warmth, food, and shelter. I don’t really foster ill-will towards ants, but don’t want them crawling all over our kitchen counters, looking for goodies in the garbage, in the pantry, streaming across the bathroom sink, etc.

This morning, I was busy encouraging them to relocate. Intent on my task, noticed an urgent cheeping which sounded suspiciously as if it were coming from inside the house. Knew Jaeci didn’t make noises like that. Didn’t sound like any sort of iPhone or appliance alarm, so I went to see what was happening.

Jaeci had popped in from the yard through her cat door carrying some little creature over to the dining area rug. Thought it might be a mouse? Taking a closer look, saw it was a frantic little hummingbird calling out in alarm. Without pausing to get a paper towel, I gently picked it up, enclosing it safely in my hand…while I reassured & distracted Jaeci with a few pets with my other hand.

Songbird & Small Bird Rescue Protocols

Took the teeny bird into the bathroom to have a closer look. Enclosed in the warmth and safety of my hand, the hummingbird immediately became silent and was scanning me intently with its bright little eyes.

Our local Bird Rescue Center advises putting found or injured birds in a secure, ventilated box lined with a soft towel. They suggest putting the box in a warm, dark place and NOT attempting to give the bird food or water. Still in my hand, carried the hummingbird out to the garage where we keep our improvised wildlife rescue shoe box. Put the shocked wee bird in the box once we were back in the house. Then had to figure out a warm place where the hummingbird could recover, but where Jaeci couldn’t get it.

annas hummingbird in rescue box
Here’s the Anna’s Hummingbird photographed through the taped viewing window of our rescue box. (Apologies for the terrible photo quality.)

A cold morning, both bathrooms were too chilly. Got a soft light cotton rag to cover the hummer’s body to retain warmth. Still ‘frozen’ with fear and shock, there wasn’t much danger of it flying off when I raised the lid. But shut the bathroom door, keeping Jaeci out, just in case it did escape.

Lavender Essential Oil Seems To Ease Shock & Trauma

Next, I got my Young Living LAVENDER essential oil to support the hummingbird’s vitality and help it recover quickly from the capture trauma shock. A tiny amount of essential oil is all that’s needed for such a small creature. Tipped the bottle dripper against my fingertip and gently wiped the essential oil around all the ventilation holes nearest to the teeny bird huddling inside. From what I’ve observed, even a few molecules drifting in to the bird will help it revive quickly.

Put the rescue box on an upper shelf of our dark, warm, linen closet. Propped open the door a tad with a folded washcloth. And went downstairs to phone the Bird Rescue Center. Needed to find out how long it takes birds to come out of the trauma shock…Rebbecca, Sunday’s center volunteer, commented sometimes as long as two hours.

After an hour or so, went back to check on the hummingbird. Found Jaeci (!!) perched on the counter below the linen cupboard, the washcloth pulled out of the door. Inside the closed cupboard, the hummer was buzzing around in the rescue box. Obviously, Jaeci had heard the commotion. Thank goodness she hadn’t dragged the box off the shelf!!

Shooed our cat out of the way. Took the bird in its box into the bathroom to see if both wings were in a natural position and working. They looked fine. The hummer was fully alert and moving well. But its tail feathers were almost all missing! Hesitated to release it in the backyard as I wasn’t sure hummingbirds could navigate or perch well without tail feathers? Plus I couldn’t see if its legs were okay…and whether or not it had any puncture wounds, always a concern with cat captured birds.

At the Bird Rescue Center, Rebbecca confirmed bringing it in for rehab care was the best decision. They could check it over, feed and shelter it until those tail feathers grew back. She said missing tail feathers are quite common in cat caught birds. She didn’t know if the birds lose them due to stress or if cats pull them out. Ouch! Maybe that’s how Jaeci caught the bird…by the tail?

I left a donation** for the hummingbird’s care. The Center will mail me a receipt with the bird’s intake ID number, so I can follow up with calls to learn how it’s progressing in rehab. Or to find out if it doesn’t make it for some reason. But I’m hopeful for an happy, full recovery, outcome.

SOURCES:

Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna), photograph used featured in my photo montage, is by Mfield, Matthew Field: http://www.photography.mattfield.com (view image details)
License: Free Art License: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Art_license

*Read more about Lavender’s Healing Properties

**The Bird Rescue Center is a non-profit that runs on donor contributions. If you love birds and would like to support the Center’s 24/7 rescue efforts, the volunteers & staff would be most grateful.

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Cynthe Brush

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Therapeutic Essential Oils Practitioner & Self-Care Health Educator has used essential oils for personal, family, & client health issues since 1999.

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