In less than 100 pages, “The Hummingbirds’ Gift” by New Hampshire author Sy Montgomery recounts her experience helping to rehabilitate two infant Allen’s hummingbirds.
The story of the hummingbirds begins with Montgomery detailing the wonders of the small birds, from their legs being thinner than toothpicks to their bodies being largely made of air. She sees them as magical and at one point draws a parallel between their ability to be healed and humans’ ability to combat climate change. “If we, mere humans, could help transform these pathetically vulnerable infants to rulers of the sky, then perhaps our kind can heal our sweet, green, broken world.”
The book takes us back in time to a decade ago when Montgomery traveled from New Hampshire to California and stayed with her friend Brenda to feed life back into two orphaned hummingbirds. These days are described in a way to feel transformative for both women, an opportunity to intentionally connect with nature. They give their hearts to the “tiny creatures as delicate as froth” that they care for. Their dedication and love shown for these birds is heartwarming.
For the novice, this book provides an interesting look at the life of “hummers.” We learn who the different species are named after and their migration paths. For those who have marveled at the speedy, bright-colored birds humming by to feed briefly from a red flower or feeder, this book is a fine introduction to the life of hummingbirds.
Sy Montgomery’s website