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Critter Appears to Have Injured Wing

A Riverside County Animal Services registered veterinary technician, Carla Hernandez, is currently caring for the bird at her home.

The hummingbird — a purple-hued Costa — appears to have an injured wing. Employees at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms are working to find a rehabilitation center specializing in hummingbirds and will arrange transport of the friendly bird. It is believed to be a male hummingbird.

Chris Johnson, a real estate agent with Compass, discovered the bird in his backyard pool Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 30). He and his husband recently moved from Palm Springs to Rancho Mirage and have both always appreciated hummingbirds. They had a feeder at their former residence and put up a feeder at the new home.

It took a couple of weeks until their purple-headed buddy started showing up and using the feeder.

“He would stop, look in — almost as if he was saying hi,” Johnson said.

He was saddened to find his new friend in the pool on Wednesday.

“When I found him in the pool, he was barely moving,” he said. “He must have been in there about an hour. I took him out and took the feeder down and hand fed him. He just gulped it down. But he was very docile.”

He said the bird was very friendly. “They’re always so happy — they bring joy to all,” he said.

“The bird is super people friendly,” said Emily Vialpando, a registered veterinary technician at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus. “Although we believe it has a partially injured wing, it was able to hop on Carla’s finger without any trepidation.”

Animal Services Director Julie Bank said she and her team expressed hope that the hummingbird’s survival might present some hope for 2021.

“We have all suffered through a very tough 2020 with the coronavirus pandemic,” Bank said. “This bird’s rescue is such an uplifting story for all us. Maybe we can look at this tiny creature’s survival as one small step toward a better year — something we all need.”

Contact a Shelter

Western Riverside: (951) 358-7387 (PETS)
San Jacinto: (951) 358-7387
Coachella Valley: (760) 343-3644
Blythe: (760) 921-7857

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