Illustration Friday: Save


Some years ago, I helped run an organization in Palo Alto, California called Wildlife Rescue. Our mission was to save injured and orphaned wildlife. Several thousand birds and mammals would come into our shelter seeking treatment which was staffed by one or two paid employees and the rest volunteers. Our rescue hotline number was 494-SAVE, and we got all kinds of interesting calls from the frantic public with wildlife issues that needed to be solved. Some of the more fun calls were from stores or markets who had hummingbirds fly in an open door and then became trapped inside the store. A couple of volunteers would be sent out with nets to try to "catch" the hummingbird. Sounds impossible....but the hummers eventually would run out of gas and would land, completely exhausted. After being transported back to the shelter, they were set up in a temporary cage for the night with a syringe of sugar water to regain their energy. The next day, after being tested in an aviary, they were released. 

This piece was partly inspired by my experiences with raising baby hummers and rehabilitating the injured. I'll never forget the baby hummer that took it's first flight in my studio!