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'Mother Hummer' and her baby chicks


Last updated 3/5/2009 at Noon

Denise Gillen feeds 2-week old baby hummingbirds Bob and Ashley a mixture of sugar water and nectar.

Shrill little peeps resonated through the room as Denise Gillen of Fallbrook lectured on hummingbirds at the Vista Library. “I think I am going to have to stop and feed them,” she said, and feed them she did – with an eyedropper fitted with an IV catheter which she placed down the throat to simulate feeding from a hummingbird’s beak. Since the chicks need to be fed every half-hour, Gillen took the birds with her to the lecture.

Gillen has worked with hummingbirds, sometimes hand-rearing them, since 1979. That was the year she became employed at the San Diego Zoo as a Hummingbird Ex...

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