When a tiny hummingbird started visiting a man in Oakland, CA, they quickly became best friends. Since he lives in a big city, he doesn’t get many opportunities to commune with nature. So, of course, he was thrilled when the hummingbird started coming by more often.
When he started feeding the bird, their friendship blossomed. The adorable story shows that when you reach out a helping hand, you’ll receive something even more beautiful in return. Here’s how one man’s relationship with a cute hummingbird began, right in his backyard.
“I got the feeders as a gift on my birthday. I put them on my window and then I glued the hummingbird feeder on top of my seed feeder,” he said. “And once the hummingbirds started coming around, I started sticking my hand out so they would get used to me.”
The man, who goes by “BirdPerson666” on Instagram, noticed something interesting after a few days. He realized that the same hummingbird was visiting him each day. His wife decided to name him Hector after his love of nectar. Now, he seems to respond to his name, flying over to the window whenever he’s called!
The man says he’ll even fly to him when he’s not holding the feeder. For instance, if he walks out to his car, the bird will greet him as if to say, “How’s it going? Are you OK?” It’s a brief encounter, but it warms the man’s heart nonetheless.
The Oakland man considers the timing of the present he received as a spiritual message of some sort. The day he got the bird feeders, one of his close cousins passed away. He believes that there’s some spirituality behind being visited by hummingbirds. Many cultures have thought of these birds as messengers from a spiritual realm. Perhaps the bird is trying to pass along an important message from his cousin or comfort him during a tough time.
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The man started feeding the hummingbird after he gained its trust
Whatever the reason for the bird’s visit, the man thoroughly enjoyed it. He kept walking up to the window and opening it so the hummingbird would get used to him. After just four days, he says Hector was eating from the palm of his hand. Everyone knows the way to an animal’s heart is through the stomach, and this hummingbird proves it!
Hummingbird feeders are a bit different than other bird feeders. While hummingbirds eat a variety of insects, their primary source of food comes from nectar. To attract these beautiful birds, many backyard birders leave a sugar-water mixture for them. Because they have such long beaks, they require a specialized feeder with a small hole to quickly drink the water.
They’ve also been known to sip the juice from overripe or previously picked fruits. Scientists have even observed them drinking tree sap, as it also satisfies their sweet tooth. Since they love sweetness, birders have found the sugar water most closely resembles the nectar they’d find in flowers.
The Oakland man knew exactly what to feed the bird since he’d been around them from a young age.
“When I was younger, my mom was the neighbor that people in our town would call when they found an injured animal,” he said, “because they knew she would make sure it would get the help it needed.
“Most of the time, we would get calls about doves and finches people would find in the yards, maybe that hit their windows. So, I guess that’s where it all started.”
The love for birds he had in childhood never left him. Even when he moved to a big city, the “bird man” still carried that connection to nature with him. So, getting the bird feeders for a birthday present allowed him to get back to his roots. It’s even inspired him to share that special connection with others and spread the importance of spending time outside.
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A childhood love of birds turned into a mission to share our interconnectedness with nature.
“After Hector and I became friends, I posted a couple of videos of him feeding. And my partner who helps me run the account now, Ranger Shan, immediately started accounts devoted to Hector and my passion for birds,” he said.
The website his friend created says: “Birdperson666 and Hector met in Oakland, California in October 2020. Ranger Shan came to him with the idea of starting accounts dedicated to this relationship and their many critter friends. Birdperson666 and Ranger Shan are committed to bringing attention to the intersection of social and environmental justice.”