|Buzzy enjoying a feast in his playpen from the special feeders devised by art Prof. Sherri Smith. Photo by Bob Kalmbach|
The juvenile Ruby-throated hummingbird with a beak once too short to manipulate flowers or a feeder found a temporary home with art Prof. Sherri Smith, who doubles as a volunteer with the Bird Rescue of Huron Valley. A 10-year veteran with the rescue operation, Smith said she was called to rescue Michigans smallest bird from a feeder, where she found him too debilitated to fly. That same day she rescued Michigans largest bird, a trumpeter swan, from a traffic median in northeast Ann Arbor.
Now Buzzys beak is long enough for him to feed on his own, and he is strong enough to join others of his kind. But there are few of his kind left in Michigan in late fall. Buzzy needed to head south, but how to get him there and avoid cold weather?
Smith contacted Regent Andrea Fischer Newman, a vice president with Northwest Airlines. A deal was struck, and last Thursday Buzzy left Detroit Metro Airport in a cat carrier on a flight bound for Tampa, Florida.
Once in the Sunshine State, personnel from a bird sanctuary in that area met and evaluated Buzzy before releasing him to travel still farther south to join his brethren for the winter.