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Hummingbird returns every year to see Georgia man who nursed it back to health

Posted at 9:20 AM, Apr 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-30 09:20:10-04

(WRDW/CNN) A Georgia man who nursed a hummingbird back to health four years ago has been getting a special visit from his pal ever since.

The hummingbird migrates south every year, but in the spring, the small bird always finds his way back.

It's a story that proves friends come in all shapes and sizes.

MORE: Read more "Good News" stories

Mike Cardenaz is a muscle car driving, tattooed, former SWAT officer who has a softer side. He’s known for nursing injured animals back to health and has gained the nickname “Dr. Doolittle.”

Right now, he's helping an injured chipmunk get back on his feet.

The fragrant flowers on his front porch attract hummingbirds.

Four years ago, Cardenaz found one that needed help.

“Several of his feathers in his wings were broken off, and he couldn't take flight,” said Cardenaz.

He named him Buzz and nursed him back to health with Pedialyte, sugar and a safe place to heal.

“I had to wait until he molted and regrew new wings. That was eight weeks, and he became a part of the family,” said Cardenaz.

Eventually, Buzz regained his strength

“He would fly around the yard and come back when he got exhausted because that was his comfort zone until he finally took off for the winter. He's been coming back for the last four years,” said Cardenaz.

From Georgia to South America and back to Cardenaz's back yard.

But, how does Mike know it’s the same hummingbird?

“Random hummingbirds don't land in your hand,” said Cardenaz.

This year, Buzz caused some concern. He was about a week or two later than normal.

“I was kind of worried about him, and I was on the front porch, sweeping off the front porch and I felt something zoom around my head. I stood on the front porch, put my hand out, and he landed on my hand,” said Cardenaz.

Back for year four to prove an act of kindness really does go a long way.

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