The Green-breasted Mango is now a celebrity.
Scott Diehl, manager of the Wisconsin Humane Society's Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Milwaukee, invited us to see the now captive hummingbird during a media session this afternoon. Chuck, Jessica, and I attended, along with cameramen from three local TV stations and a photographer from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. One of the camera guys said, without a hint of doubt in his voice, "this'll make CNN."
Wow, all this attention for one seven-gram bird. Granted, until September, only one Green-breasted Mango had been seen in the U.S. outside of Texas (in North Carolina), so its arrival in the Badger State was big news. The 700 birders who showed up in Beloit a few weeks ago came from all over the country to have the chance to see it at Joan Salzberg's feeder. I took my daughters on a blustery Sunday — too windy apparently for the bird to make an appearance. I was bummed, but not nearly as much as the birder I met who had driven up from St. Louis.
As you can see in Jessica's photos, Diehl measured the bird's tail, bill, and wings while the cameras rolled. The measurements will determine the bird's age and sex. I was struck by the deep green of its back, the curve of the bill, and the rusty streaks on its throat.
The mango likely will be taken to Chicago's Brookfield Zoo later today or tomorrow. Diehl said the bird is healthy and has gained some weight since it came to the center. Asked about the debate over the mango's capture, he said:
“If everyone who has shown concern and interest in this bird will direct even a tiny percentage of their attention and energies to the humane treatment and conservation of wild birds and their habitats, that would be a wonderful legacy for this bird.” — M.M.