BOOKS: Hummingbirds: My Winter Guests

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1998:

My Winter Guests
by Arnette Heidcamp
Crown Publishing (201 E. 50th St. New
York, NY 10022), 1997.
192 pages, hardcover, $18.00.

Several years ago I found a bird’s
nest in the woods: tightly woven from fine
grass fibers, and incredibly small. Recognizing
that it had belonged to a hummingbird, I
was astounded to realize that the tiny bird had
raised her entire family in it.
Arnette Heidcamp’s third volume
on her experiences with hummingbirds
recounts the events of the 1995-1996 winter,
when she hosted two injured rubythroats and
two rufuses who stayed too long in their summer

A seasoned hummingbird rehabilitator,
Heidcamp describes the birds, notes
similarities and differences, and details the
daily occurances. The care required by the
injured birds differed significantly from the
maintenance of the healthy two. The author
relates some resourceful solutions to the
unusual problems she faced in providing for
the needs of two species of naturally solitary
individuals, sharing a small space for a prolonged
time, as well as the difficulties she
met in caring for a severely injured bird.
Heidcamp’s lovely photographs
illustrate her story. There remains so much to
be learned about hummingbirds that even this
recognized authority on their care poses many
more questions than she can answer.
––Eileen Crossman

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