I often joke that my dream is to be a storybook princess who wild animals flock to, but I know to keep my distance from wildlife.

However, that changed one recent morning, when I found a hummingbird suddenly in need of help in my front yard.

I heard a loud thud, that sounded like a kid in my neighborhood had hit my front window with a tennis ball. Instead, I soon found a tiny hummingbird, lying motionless on the bench right in front of my house. He had hit the window, and fallen onto the concrete.

I was scared to touch him, so I wrapped him up in a dish towel and brought him inside, since he wasn’t moving.

My first move was to call the Tucson Wildlife Center, who explained to me they don’t take in hummingbirds, but they told me to call the Southern Arizona Hummingbird Rescue. Sure enough, they could help. So my little friend headed to Carol Wilson’s home in the Foothills, where she runs her leg of the rescue.

She and the other volunteers treat hummingbirds when they get attacked, hurt, or sick.

“The first thing that we do with them,” Wilson explained, “is let them get into the incubator and let them warm up. Because you can’t feed them unless they’re warm.”

She says they’ve taken in almost 250 hummingbirds since they started their rescue group at the beginning of the year.

“We try to give the hummingbirds back their wings,” she explained. “If it’s an injured adult, they come in and they do their recovery. You have to watch them closely. We give them medications. We do whatever, so they can fly and be hummingbirds again.”

Wilson says some hummingbirds are mating right now, so she’s seeing a lot of little boys, just like the one I brought in, who are preoccupied and not looking where they’re going.

“Little boys are fighting right now,” Wilson said, “It’s like, ‘I’ll get you, I’m gonna go for the girl!’ So they’re flying into windows and they’re hitting each other, and that’s what we’re getting in now.”

For some, Wilson says she’ll observe the hummingbirds for a day or two, but that’s not always the case if they really hit their head, like one of the other birds she took in a couple weeks ago. She says he’s a neuro case now, so he’ll be in her care for a couple of months. Still, she’s confident he’ll make a full recovery.

For the most part, the birds they treat, recover, and the volunteers ultimately release them.

That’s exactly what they did with the little bird I found, right back into my front yard.

Wilson says she has a few messages she’d like to send when it comes to keeping hummingbirds thriving. One, she asks that you don’t dye their food red. She says they do well eating sugar water in a red feeder, but don’t actually need red food. Two, if you ever find a hummingbird on the ground that can’t move, please contact her rescue. They’ll be able to walk you through the best options for the hummingbird, to ensure it’ll have a chance at getting its wings back.

You can contact the Southern Arizona Hummingbird Rescue at (520) 404-9949.