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Releasing Magic

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I was going to try to hang on to Magic until Sherri got back from a trip on Monday, August 20. But Saturday the 18th dawned bright and clear as a bell, in the 60's, dewy, and Magic was a changed bird. Instead of loafing around and going to the feeder and loafing around some more, he was supercharged. I brought the feeder out around 7 AM and he was so hungry he hung before it, gaping, before he remembered to insert his bill and lap up some nectar. When his crop was full he commenced circling the ceiling of the tent, something he hadn't done before. He circled like a trapped thing, like a hummingbird that had blundered in and couldn't find its way out.I couldn't stand it.

Why was I keeping this wild bird, who knew all he needed to know to survive?
What was best for him? Keeping him until it was convenient for us, or opening the tent to the wide blue heavens?
I didn't have to call Sherri to know the answer. She'd want me to release him when the time was right. And that time was 10:30 AM, August 18, 2007.
And so I did, zipped the tent open and hung the feeder in the doorway.
It took Magic a little while to get the concept, or perhaps build up the courage to explore. I have to say, it was a pretty nice suite. Kind of Romanesque. But after noting the clear air just beyond his feeder, he simply zipped out, hung in the air for a moment, poked his bill into a coneflower, and fetched up momentarily in a birch tree. He hooked around the corner of the tent and was gone, just like that. No goodbyes.
I hung his feeder up in the birch where I'd last seen him, and dismantled the tent. I watched for him all day long. Finally, at 3:30 and again at 7:10 PM, I saw him at the sugar water feeder by the front door. He was nervous but competent, shouldering his way into the crowd to feed.
I haven't seen him since.
Usually, I get an opportunity to follow my wild babies in the days and weeks after release. But Magic had had enough of me and my tent and sink bath and hose spraying and protein formula. He was ready for the world, and like an arrow shot from a bow, he left.
I know there are enough hummingbird flowers here for him to live on. More than enough.

Can you find him? He's in tall corn.Godspeed, little ship.


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