[Tweeters] Hummingbird injury

notcalm at comcast.net notcalm at comcast.net
Tue Mar 6 00:44:28 PST 2012

Well, I hear many stories and enjoy most. The following was the most startling of 2011.

I recently met an adult couple who had recently returned from a birding trip in Texas. They told me the following story: as their son and his friends were on the last part of a backpacking trip last Summer, a hummingbird pieced the eye of one of the hikers. Of course this is very unusual- in fact, I have never heard of another occurrence. What stuck with me was that the hiker had the presence of mind to hold the bird in hand and beak in eye all the way to the emergency room! They reported that he did not lose his sight.

Frankly, I was so surprised by this story- as I enjoy hummingbirds and am often near them- that I asked no additional questions, which is unusual for me. Has anyone heard of a human eye injury by a hummingbird? I can only speculate that the bird was curious, came close and the hiker was moving downhill at a rate that resulted in a rare contact. It would seem that there would have to be great speed during impact for the beak to pierce a person's eye. Any Opthamologist on the Tweeters list serve? Could there have been a release of aqueous or vitreous humor? What injury would happen to the eye and what should the person do?

Dan Reiff

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