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'Fly high, Sibley.' Wildlife community mourns death of bird ambassador


Sibley, a ruby-throated hummingbird, was rehabilitated by the Georgia Audubon after a window collision and went on to serve as a bird ambassador for three years. Credit: Georgia Audubon

The Georgia Audubon announced this week that hummingbird ambassador Sibley has died. The ruby-throated hummingbird was initially rendered flightless after a window collision and was rehabilitated by the Atlanta Wild Animal Rescue Effort.

Sibley worked with Georgia Audubon Director of Education Melanie Furr for three and a half years. Furr said despite his human caretakers' best efforts, Sibley's health started declining in December.

“Three years is about the average life for a hummingbird in the wild,” Furr said. "So, as short as his life seemed, we were really happy he was with us as long as he was

As an ambassador, Sibley (with Furr) would host community programs educating the public on making buildings safer for birds to visit and  about the dangers windows pose to birds.

On Twitter, the Audubon Society shared its condolences for Sibley.

The program first began in 2018 with a rescued hummingbird named Shep, and it will continue with its current ambassador, Polly the Pollinator.

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Amanda Andrews