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sick? tongue problem? advice please

September 12 2012 at 1:00 PM
Hummingbird lover 2011

A hummingbird at my feeder just now had something long and thin hanging down the side of its beak, coming out of its beak. It looked like a thread but I was afraid it could be its tongue. Otherwise, it appeared healthy, full of energy and was chasing off other birds from the feeder. Any ideas? Can this happen to a hummingbird's tongue? It was feeding normally, and I can't imagine it could feed without its tongue working properly. Am I wrong?

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(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: sick? tongue problem? advice please

September 12 2012, 1:58 PM 

It may have been a thread or a bit of plant material. It is hard to say without seeing a picture of it but if it was nectaring normally, it may be able to take care of whatever it is by itself.

USDA hardiness zone 6a
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39

Russ Thompson
(Login russlouky)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Re: sick? tongue problem? advice please

September 12 2012, 7:40 PM 

This hummingbird had a bill and a tongue problem but could eat from a tube feeder.
You have to watch the video to see that particular hummingbird - but if you haven't seen the video before you can see how hummingbirds use their tongue to drink.

Russ Thompson
Louisville, Kentucky

[linked image]

Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: sick? tongue problem? advice please

September 18 2012, 12:02 PM 

thank you Russ and Penny. Yes, Russ, it's quite similar to the bird in the video, with a deformed bill too. But it feeds off the tube feeder no problem and in fact chases off all competitors.


(Login poorbs)
Hummingbirder 2012

Re: sick? tongue problem? advice please

September 19 2012, 12:55 AM 

Interesting video, seeing how much these guys drink while feeding. I have only dish type feeders, and it's impossible to determine just how much each bird is getting. Seeing how much this guy in the video drank, it's small wonder some of them turn out to be real porkers.


Northeast Texas
Plant Hardiness Zone 8a


(Login seafire1)
Bird Lover

Re: sick? tongue problem? advice please

September 19 2012, 8:41 PM 


Somewhere I remember a pic of a hummer with a tongue where the tip was dried out and was told it would fall off and be ok.

Matawan,NJ 7a
[linked image]

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