Peter & Peeps

This is the heart-warmin’ story of Peeps the Baby hummingbird, who fell out of his nest and injured his left wing. Peeps was lovingly nursed back to health and released back into the wild with help from Peter Tommerup and the Sulphur Creek Nature Center in Hayward, CA.

Film by Gary B. Sent in by Señor McBrinkersons of the iPad Report.



  1. How. Stinkin’. Cute.

    Don’t know that I could sit that still while a hummer was sitting on my cupped hand and Momma Bird is there too. I’d be squeeing all over the place. Amazing that she would even do that, but hey.. babies gotta get fed.

  2. kibblenibble says:

    This is amazing! The way the mama sat right on Peter’s hand to feed Peeps! Peeps cozying up in Pater’s hand and closing his eyes as Peter gently stroked his feathers! Just all of it is wonderful. I’m so glad it was a successful resQte. 🙂

  3. Oh, oh, oh….how amazing. I’ll be even more hyper-vigilant this year in keeping the hummingbird feeders clean and full. I love watching them, as do my cats and dogs, but never knew they would do this! We have had starlings take up nesting nearby and do their “dive bombing” routine every time our door opens, so this is a VERY nice contrast…

  4. Ain’t Mother Nature grand (with help from a real hero like Peter)? Simply amazing!

  5. Mary (the first) says:

    That was truly amazing. I got a little misty eyed! Sooooo sweet and cute.

  6. Lucy's Mommeh says:

    Simply awesome.

  7. I LOVED ALL OF IT. The long tongue and the PEEP PEEP and the feather puffing outness and the mom being skeptical….YESSSSSSSS.

    I knew though…once I read “heartwarming story” I might cry a little……

  8. That was really wonderful. I loved it when Peeps stucks its tongue out. I had never seen that before. 🙂

  9. These birds are extremely sweet. A similar story that happened to me about seven years ago. I found a baby hummingbird on the street and took at my house. The baby had a deformity in one leg and that vet said was the reason he was thrown from the nest. The baby did not have many feathers and was very small. I nursed him for a month, giving food in a syringe. With one month old he flew through my apartment, let us bathe him (he loved to water) and slept in his own bed of paper that could not be outside the right position but he complained. We saw that he was ready to drop on the street and took him to a large park of the city who cared for animals. There he was being fed by another person and taught to pick yourself up by mosquitoes that flew into a tree days later and never returned. For a long time I reminded him, always asking God that he was fine. These are the sweetest animals I’ve ever had contact. I hope that my story is understandable, because I am Brazilian and my English is bad. Regards to all!!

  10. @Joyce: your story was totally understood and your English in not bad at all. What a wonderful thing you did. I am glad the bird was rescued by you. Thank you for sharing your story.

    This video was wonderful. I loved that momma bird did not reject her baby even though it had “human” smell but instead still feed her little one. I guess to her, the baby was in the hospital.

  11. Ohhh what a wonderful experience! I would LOVE to have a hummingbird sitting in my hand like that! I’m SO glad the little guy recovered and was successfully released. Kudos to all involved in this amazing ResQte!

    @ffleur: Smell wouldn’t have been a problem. Very few birds have a well-developed sense of smell.

  12. Hummies are just the best. And everything they do is a blur! Somewhere on the Interwebs there’s a great video about a hummingbird hat–it’s got a plastic faceguard and nectar feeders around the rim, so you can watch the hummie up close and personal.

    @Joyce–great story! We need more heroes like you and Peter.

  13. Bostonista says:

    “Ma, Ma, Ma, Ma, Ma, Ma, Mama, Ma, Ma, Ma, Maaaaaaaa, Ma, Ma, Mamaaaaaaaaaaa, Mamaaaaaaaaaaa, Mamaaaaaaaaaa”

    Any Bob Marley fans? (the comedian, not the reggae artist)

  14. Oh god i had a cat named peeps, he died so young /cry

  15. Officer (Original) Mel says:

    I love when McPeepersons was on the stick and Peter stuck the stick to the flower, and Peeps took a lil teeny sip of nectars and then Peter moved him to the next flower. Like seriously.

  16. Surrealle says:

    I’ve been lucky enough to hold a hummingbird myself (it was trapped in our screen enclosure and I was unable to just herd him out); at first I was nervous about getting pecked but it was sweeter and calmer about being held than my own parakeets! It just sat on my hand and rested for a minute before flying away; it amazes me that the smallest bird in the world can be so relaxed around people.

    And just to add, the line about birds smelling humans on their nest or eggs, etc. is an old wives tale.

  17. Shadowtiger says:

    I’ve done a hummingbird rescue myself. Same species, too–Anna’s Hummingbird. Ours wasn’t injured, though–she was just kicked out of the nest a couple of days too early and couldn’t quite fly yet and was flopping around on a walkway on campus while I was on my way home. Scooped her up and looked around, saw the tiny little nest but it was about fifty feet up in a liquid amber tree. I skittered home and rang the doorbell with my nose, wife let me in, and we quickly set him up in a hospital aquarium with sterile litter–thank goodness none of our rats were sick. We fed her some sterilized, warm sugar water using a syringe we normally use for feeding rats too sick to chew their food. My wife’s little sister in her sorority was a Bio major and was involved in doing a population study of hummingbirds on campus (!) and was able to take her off our hands after about 6-8 hours. During that time, though, we got a few photos and fed the bird several times, and let her splash around in the water in my cupped hand. According to the little sister, the bird was flying the next day and was released on campus.

    Holding a young hummingbird in your hand is an eye-opening experience–they’re so light and delicate, it’s hard not to be overcome with wonder.

    As it happens, hummingbirds are protected species and unless you’re involved with a foster system or animal rescue it is illegal to keep them even briefly. Because they usually return and reuse their nest year after year, even moving or keeping the nest is illegal in California. If you encounter a baby hummer, make sure his parents aren’t hovering nearby protectively. Make sure he actually needs a rescue. If it looks like he’s hurt, by all means scoop up and save, but make sure you contact the local wildlife rehabbers as soon as you can to avoid trouble.

  18. Sweeda88 says:

    That is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! It even trumps the Pygmy Marmoset! LUFF eet!

    Peter must have one helluva positive energy to get the mother to feed baby right out of his hands!

  20. Queen of Dork says:

    Joyce: Your English is delightful and easy to understand and your story is so beautiful! Thank you for telling it to us!

  21. fly'n bye says:

    Awesome film! Kudos and bravo to Peter and friends for helping Peeps’ mama take care of him! My eyes were welling up big time with rainbows!

    Hurray for Joyce and her wonderful rescue story. Angels all!

  22. OMG, this is just amazing in the amazing sense of the word!

  23. Snugglebunny says:

    So the Mother’s Day post has to TOP this one? Hoo boy.

  24. This was exquisite.

  25. Megan C. says:

    it amazes me that the smallest bird in the world can be so relaxed around people.

    There are a few things that could possibly contribute to this. One is the fact that we are so much larger than they are so we are obviously not a major predator of theirs. The mother should also know what her predators look like, and recognize that we aren’t there. There’s also the fact that hummingbirds don’t live particularly long, so it is more important to them to ensure a baby is raised successfully than to abandon the baby because it’s in the hands of a human. Larger birds are much more apt to abandon babies because larger birds live longer and have more chances to reproduce.

  26. That was such a miraculous and wonderful video! So relaxing. And little Peeps’ caretakers were so gentle and sweet with him. I love that they were teaching him to eat. He seems so gentle and delicate, and his mom trusts the situation enough to continue to feed him. There’s a whole lotta kindness in the world, and if Peeps had to injure himself, what a great place for him to have been found. Gosh, I just love this video. Thanks for posting it.

  27. SO cute and such an amazing video (and I’m sure experience).
    I’d also be squeeing all over the place if Momma bird came and fed the baby while in my hands. Love how fearless she was.
    So glad to hear Peeps got all better and was able to return to the wild 🙂

  28. Michelle says:

    I love Peter! Where can I find a guy like him!

  29. Woah! Baby is as big as Mama!

    I love the way he opened his hungry little mouth and begged for food. I kept worrying because Mama wasn’t feeding him fast enough, but she always got to it eventually.

  30. Yay, for Peter and good luck to Peeps. What a cutie he is.

  31. AuntieMame says:

    I think I would just die of pure joy if a tiny bird lit on my hand to feed her baby bird who was also in my hand. But what a way to go…

  32. smartyboots says:

    Awww, so cute! I’ve had the pleasure of being able to get close to a rescued baby hummingbird and they really are extraordinary. I love the happy ending, esp. since I rescued an injured baby possum this morning and handed it over to a wildlife rehabber. Saw it on the street, sitting in broad daylight watching traffic go by so I insisted we investigate. I swear when we got close it scurried right up to my slightly apprehensive boyfriend for help (if you haven’t had the experience of watching your big strong beau get chased up the street by a baby possum, I highly recommend it). I had a bag with me for toting farmer’s market produce and I thought it might welcome some shelter, and when I put the bag nearby, the poor critter hopped right in. Would have been great to have a plan in mind *before* finding myself with a sad baby possum in a bag, but it turned out the rehabber lives nearby and we were able to deliver him to someone knowledgeable within minutes. Here’s hoping wee possum in a bag has a successful story like Peeps!

  33. I love people who take care of animals. (And I’m not just saying that because I get to volunteer at a shelter.) You guys are my heroes.

  34. Yay for Peter, Joyce, Shadowtiger and all hummingbird rescuers out there! Smartyboots, I can’t get over the mental image I got after reading “sad baby possum in a bag”… *thud*

  35. Bostonista – HA! I can just imagine Peeps has the hummingbird equivalent of a heavy Maine accent now.

    Cute vid, glad to see the little booger was successfully rehabbed.

  36. Awesomeness all around!!!! The peeps, the tongue, the teeny tiny, chauffeured feeding. Hurray for Peter and other rescuers, as Decca said.

  37. Awweee,that just brightened my whole day up,the fact that there are sweet and kind people who care about God’s tiny creatures and that the wee sweet creature responded so well. I’m going to have to watch this over and over;the cute little squeaky “Mom! Mom!” and him perched on the stick being lowered to flowers to feed. Oh my gosh,now I’m going to go to sleep with a smile on my face. ❤

  38. All I can say is “awwwwwwwwww!” 🙂

  39. I have to admit, I didn’t know they “cheaped”. I live in Florida and have bottle brush trees in my yard. Hummers love them. I was doing yard work one day and thought a bumble bee was flying around my head (due to the noise), I looked up and it was a hummer. He/she was hovering right infront of my face like he was saying “hello”.

    Wen I was younger, I lived in Arizona. Yearly, we had monsoon season. I recall once, a hummer was against my door…passed…as he had gotten battered by the storm. I held him in my hands and just cried. Bless his little self.

  40. Lucy's Mommeh says:

    Joyce, your english was understandable enough for me (and others) to understand that all over the world, there are people with big hearts.

  41. To Joyce (whose English is just fine) and all the other animal rescuers, I salute you. You make this world a better place. *hugs*

  42. georgina0912 says:

    I love stories like this. I have done a rescue similar to this but not with hummingbirds, with a “yigüirro” or clay-colored thrush –

    I am from Costa Rica and the yigüirro is our national bird. One day two years ago at my mom’s house we noticed that one baby yigüirro fell off a nest, then the next day another one and two days later a third one. Only one big-fat-baby was left in the nest. We started picking them up since the first day and feeding them mashed bananas and other fruits, but around 10 a.m. we would bring the box outside where the mother came every single day to feed them. After about a week they started jumping out of the box and trying to fly, but they were not very good at it yet. Around 4 p.m. we would collect them and bring them inside the house to sleep, safely.

    One day about 2 weeks later they just took off, and never came back, but i was left with this amazement, this thoughts of admiration towards the mother bird who never stopped caring for her babies even though they were not in her nest. Nature is so wonderful, and i have nothing but respect for it. Mother Nature definitely knows best, and this little mother yigüirro knew in some way that we were caring for her little ones.

    YAY for all living creatures!

  43. Katiedid says:

    Yey for Peeps!!

  44. Super Bunny says:

    Hummingbirds are amazing animals. When I had a camp in the Adirondaks there were lots of hummingbirds and when I’d take the feeder out they were so anxious to get the food they’d land on my hand as I was carrying the feeder. The males can be vicious, though. Two males were fighting on the ground once and one poked the other in the eye and killed him. But that is mother nature, survival of the fittest.

  45. MarmieLover says:

    This is amazingly heart-warming and cute… and I also didn’t know that they peeped. Do the adults make any sort of noise?

  46. Super Bunny says:

    Another funny story, in the 80s when red framed glasses were popular my daughter was sitting on our porch wearing said glasses and a hummingbird came right up to her face and hovered near the glasses. I’ve also had them hover near my red painted toenails. I love feeding them here in Ontario, too.

  47. Super Bunny says:

    @MarmieLover: Yes, the adults make squeaky noises particularly during mating season when they dive back and forth in a big “U” motion. I’ve observed these lovely birds for many years.

  48. Super Bunny says:

    Here in Ontario I feed the hummingbirds all summer, usually one or two pairs. Then in late summer the babies start coming to the feeder. You can tell they’re babies by the color of their feathers, sort of grey chest and mottled green back. The babies play fight at the feeder chasing each other around. It’s so cool to watch.

  49. lurkingsmirk says:

    This reminds me of when I was little and first watched Snow White. I was convinced that if I were a good enough person then all the woodland animals would want to be my friend…sadly, this never happened and I’ve accepted that it doesn’t happen in real life, but now I see this! Clearly these people are Disney princesses in disguise. I am so jealous.

  50. The hummingbird on a stick part killed me. It was so cute when he moved it around so it could eat from different flowers.

  51. Chihgirl says:

    Just beautiful. I, too, got misty-eyed watching this video. I’m not trying to preach or anything, but I can’t look at something like this and believe that this was all a random accident of atomic/chemical reactions–there’s too much beauty, design, intelligence and love that went into the creation of even the tiniest creature on our planet.

  52. Delightful and cuteful.

  53. When the mom hummingbird came on the scene, all I could think was, “GIVE ME BACK MY BABY, YOU WARTHOG FROM HELL!!”

    My sister and her husband once rescued a baby bird not quite ready to be on his own (and/or was he injured? I forget. Anyway . . . ). They made a little cage for him and hung him in a tree, and his mom came and fed him through the ‘bars’ until he was big/well enough to be set free.

  54. If you turn an “aw” upside down it is a mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  55. Oh, his little baby voice is KILLING ME. When we were kids we’d stand at the hummingbird feeder for hours with our fingers held out, and the little things would come perch on our fingers to eat. They are the sweetest birds.

  56. Patricia Shapiro says:

    Isn’t nature wonderful? Sincere thanks to Peter and Lee for their patience and kindness. I am certain that the experience was its own reward.

    Once, a hummingbird got stunned by flying into my kitchen window. I held it in my hands and fed it some sweetened water for about an hour. He eventually felt well enough to fly away. It was a great feeling!

  57. @Marmielover They also click like dolphins!

    I love everybody’s rescue stories! I’ve only ever rescued kittens and butterflies.

    And smartyboots- I love your visual of the possum-fearin beau.

  58. You gotta love men who have a tender touch and a gentle way with animals. 🙂

  59. too cute=) ❤

  60. oh my, what a patient man! teaching him how to eat from a flower, and holding him while momma fed him! I lof eet!

  61. What awesome human beings!

  62. Un be lieve a ble!

  63. Peter Tommerup is my new hero! It’s could to see there is still some campassion left in the worlds towards the helpless critters. Oh, and Peep was so cute!

  64. LovesDogs says:

    Peter, et al: Thank uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

  65. Hmmmmmmmmmmmthp-thp-thphmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  66. He’s an Evergreener like me!
    Just so all of you guys know, ReQte is a total Evergreen past-time (as is moving to the Bay Area from Olympia).
    We come from a college in the woods, and actually, I’m in the middle of rescuing a stray kitten right now!
    Good peeps, in so many ways…

  67. Just amazing. I love how Peter gently strokes Peep on the throat and the birdie closes his eyes!

  68. Want.

  69. WendyPinNJ says:

    I LOVE that story!

    I LOVE hummingbirds!

    I LOVE little Peeps!

    I LOVE hero Peter!

    My heart is happy!

  70. I think my heart just exploded.

  71. What a brave mama bird!! I love how she seems to be thinking, “Well, this is all highly irregular, but I suppose it will have to do.” I babysat a cardinal that fell out of his nest into my basement window well, but I never got that close. I just erected a screen covering to keep predators out with a little hatch for the mama and daddy to come feed him. They did for a little more than a week, and then I took the screen off and he flew away.

  72. Absolutely beautiful.

  73. Debbieln60 says:

    Too cute. When mamma bird first sat on the hand..looking up at the fella, I swear she had this look of ‘who the heck are you, and what are you doing with bebeh?’
    I have to say, getting fed that way by mom, looks like it would hurt like the dickens.

  74. round abouts 2:55, his tongue is redonk!

  75. Whoa. Jackhammer head!

  76. Lol, I too am LOVING the tiny tiny Peeps action, but it was DebbieIn60’s comment that made me burst out laughing, because was exactly what I was thinking! OWWWEEEE! Um, yeah thanks mum… *cough* *tiny tongue lickage* ok, I’m recovered.

  77. Victoria says:

    St. Francis preached to the birds. Thank you for the patience and devotion to God’s creatures. Momma bird loves her baby!

  78. “Mom!…MOM!……Mom! Mom! Mom!…! mom! Mom! Come on!”

  79. AWW 😀 I am so glad to hear that the little hummerbird baby was able to return to the wild 😀

  80. Thank you Peter and Lee Anne! If only everyone cared for animals in this way!

  81. you are a true, kind human being. I know way to many people that would have done awful things to that bird. I am very thankful for people like you. God bless you

  82. This is a cute story but could have had fatal effects. The bird should have been put back into the nest. If the wing was hurt, it should have been taped by a professional. I have been a hummingbird rehabilitator for 25 years and some of the comments are real scary. Hummingbirds need special care and a special diet. One has to be licensed to take care of these treasured Jewels. PLEASE contact a local VET to find help for a baby or injured hummer. If you cannot find help ask your closest ZOO or your state’s Fish and Game Dept. One should never assume the role of caretaker unless qualified. We rehabilitators volunteer our time for these little angels. They never get fed with an eyedropper as they can aspirate very quickly and then die very slowly. PLEASE, PLEASE if you can’t find someone to help you with a sick, injured or orphaned hummer, you can contact me and I will help you find someone. Do not send me nasty e-mails; I don’t deserve them as I am only trying to put out some vital information. I have raised and released approximately 6,000 hummingbirds back into the wild. It is illegal to keep one without a license and the proper food. I realize that everyone loves hummingbirds and so do I; that’s why I will help anyone that needs it. Thanks for listening. If you need help you can contact me at ( I am offering my help to you in order to keep saving these wonderful birds. Rene

  83. Carolyn says:

    Every once in awhile, nature allows us to participate in a miracle . . . helping one another. What a perfectly lovely video!!

  84. O hummy birds!

    It brings back memories of the one I found in shock last year. Sooo tiny, I found him wedged into the slits between the boards of a school bench. I was so scared someone would come and sit on him or a cat would come and eat him. I picked him up and carried him all the way to housing in my open palm all the way home, and I figured he had to be dazed as he just sat in my hand and eyed me sideways. It seemed like it was taking me forever to walk home. I fed him out of the short side of a bendy straw when I got back home, and eventually he started buzzing up like a motor turning on, and away he went leaving me with just a tiny feather that had slipped out. I like to think that its the same hummingbird who some times buzzes right in front of me and looks me right in the eye when I read outside my house or perches and chirps when I snooze outdoors.

  85. PS…I had tried to contact a specialist, but they referred me to a hummingbird specialist number and I did not get contacted by them until maybe 48 hours later…by that time he had buzzzed off on his own.

  86. for those of us who are animal people and not people people, doing this sort of thing would give our lives meaning. sad to say, but it’s true