We tried to get rid of anything red in the front of the garage years ago. Hummingbirds would be drawn in by the color, then they would fly around the ceiling until they were exhausted, and they would rest on the wire to the garage door opener. Dear husband would climb up on the roof of the van, get the hummingbird off of the wire, and climb down (that's the hard part while he's carrying the hummingbird). He'd take the hummingbird outside and feed it sugar water from a potato peeler. That sounds strange, but the curve of the potato peeler keeps a small line of sugar water which the hummingbird licks off. It works better than an eye dropper. Once the hummingbird felt better, it would fly off, and sometimes come back and dive bomb him (after all, he was a large predator holding it).
We weren't able to find one hummingbird, though. Months later, we just found a pile of feathers behind a box.
As I said, we tucked the red cooler away in the shadows of the garage, took off the red ring that was hanging from the garage door opener string and replaced it with a washer, and moved every other red thing we could... except for the big red van, which really can't go anywhere. What would be going through a hummingbird's tiny mind: "Look at that humongous flower!"?
After we cleaned up the garage of all but one of the red items visible from the door, we've gotten far fewer hummingbirds. We had one this morning, however. She was flying around frantically, and there wasn't anything we could do for her. An hour later, we went out again, and she finally had come to rest on a long pole with a blade for cutting branches. The top of the branch-cutting tool is up near the ceiling, and it has a small ring for a rope near the top. The hummingbird was clinging firmly to that ring. It took a while to find her because she was facing the wall, and her dark back looked like part of the tool, but we were determined to find her so that she wouldn't become another pile of feathers! We could tell she was still in there because of her peeps, which were getting fainter and father apart.
Older son doesn't have any classes on Thursdays so, the last few weeks, he's stayed home and worked those days. We were so lucky he was home today! After younger son got that corner of the garage cleared out, older son got the pole off the wall. The hummingbird was actually so tired that she stayed on there while he carried it outside! I was very worried that she'd just start flying around frantically again.
It took three of us to take care of her: I had the hummingbird food (sugar water), older son fed her, and younger son held the pole steady. I don't have photos, of course, because we were too busy for that, but I think I will always have the memory etched on my brain. At first, she barely noticed the food, but she slowly started eating. They're so small when you see them still and up close. Her eyes stayed shut for a long time. She gradually started eating faster and faster, and we happily watched the bumps going down her little white throat. At first, it was swallow, swallow, swallow, peep, but, as she grew stronger, she stopped talking while she ate. She also fluffed out more as she felt better. Eventually, just a bit before she took off, she opened her eyes. It was wonderful to see her looking alert.
When she felt better, she flew off into the Japanese Maple in the front yard. It's a fairly dense tree so we couldn't see her. A few minutes later, we saw her flying around the front flowerbed happily eating and peeping.
[Hummingbird photo from Wikimedia Commons]