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“The hummingbirds’ gift” by Sy Montgomery

--Staff Picks General

The hummingbirds' gift : wonder, beauty, and renewal on wings

Sy Montgomery
Published: 2021
Genre: Non-fiction

Sy Montgomery, author of “The Soul of the Octopus, wrote another little gem with the story of the miraculous recovery of two abandoned baby hummingbirds.

When Brenda Sherburn, a volunteer hummingbird rehabilitator in California, received two orphaned birds, they were not much larger than bumblebees. Montgomery flew to California to help and document the process. As the author explains, rehabilitating hummingbirds is difficult work. In addition to maintaining the temperature of their habitat and examining their bodies for injury and invasive insects, baby hummingbirds must be fed every 20 minutes using a syringe. Furthermore, because the food spoils easily, a fresh batch of a mixture of fruit flies, sugar and water must be concocted several times a day.

Montgomery writes a lot of information regarding hummingbirds into this tiny book, examining species differences, body mechanics, habitat range, food sources, migration patterns, and relevant mythology. As their attachment to the birds grew, Sherburn and Montgomery chose to break the unwritten rule of naming birds in the process of rehabilitation and named them Maya and Zuni. Montgomery explains that she wrote this book because witnessing the recovery of these tiny creatures was a cherished gift, adding that if humans can save these vulnerable orphaned birds, then maybe we can heal our broken world.

A small book about tiny birds, filled with love, hope and wonder.