Can Hummingbirds Stop Flying?

Last Updated on December 18, 2021 by Griselda M.

Hummingbirds are fantastic creatures that every hummingbird enthusiast goes all out to have them hovering or hanging around their yard. While we notice them always flying about, we may often wonder if hummingbirds can stop flying.

Hummingbirds are known for their fast-moving wings. They tend to generate a humming sound when they flap their wings at high speed. They also beat their wings so fast while they hover around at feeders and flowers while they feed.

What we mostly witness these birds flying around always, it may come to our mind to know if hummingbirds do stop flying at any point. Well, this is what we will be looking into. So, keep on reading for some insight on this.

Hummingbirds Facts

Let’s first learn and look into some fascinating facts about these sweet hummers. There are so many interesting things to learn about these lustrous birds. Some of them include:

  • These sweet hummers are one of the smallest migrating birds capable of journeying long distances at a go. They have the ability to travel as many as 23 miles in one day.
  • The average hummers weigh less than a nickel. The common Ruby-throated species weighs around 3 grams.
  • These lovely hummers are the only bird capable of flying backward. Additionally, they can also fly forward, upside down, and even in a figure-eight pattern. They have different flying skills that make them very fascinating to watch.
  • Hummingbirds however do not have any sense of smell but they have excellent eyesight. This is why they can be easily attracted by radiant colors such as red, pink, orange, and so on.
  • Hummingbirds feed o nectar to derive the energy required for their daily vigorous activities. They sip or drink nectar solution using their tongue. They are capable of moving their tongue in and out up to 13 times in just one second.
  • Hummingbirds have the ability to consume up to double their weight in just one day.
  • The female hummers often lay just 2 eggs. These eggs can be compared to the size of a jellybean or a coffee bean.

Do Hummingbirds Ever Stop Flying?

do hummingbirds die when they stop flying

Now let’s get to know if hummingbirds can stop flying. The truth is no matter how often or constantly hummingbirds fly around, they can still stop flying.

Another myth that you may have heard is if hummingbirds die when they stop flying: this is very far from the truth. Hummingbirds do not die even when they stop flying.

Get To Know If Hummingbirds Can Stop Flying

Hummingbirds are frequently on the move in their fight mode. These birds can spend almost all their time flying in the air. They do stop and rest after feeding for a long time. They even love to sit on a perch while they rest.

However, apart from them stopping to rest after feeding, there are other unique things that happen whenever hummingbirds stop flying. Hummingbirds go into torpor state during the night to rest from a long day of flying.

During this torpor state, they will drop their metabolic rate drastically that their heart rate slows down. This reduces their requirement for energy or sugar intake. Then the next day, they will become active again to continue their vigorous daily activities.

During their torpor state, they make look dead. But they aren’t, they are just in hibernation mode. They need to be in this state at night so they can conserve their energy especially in low temperatures.

So, in case you come across a hummingbird at night breathing slowly on a perch, it’s very likely they resting in their torpor state and they aren’t dead. While in their torpor state, they tend to have their feather fluffed out and tuck their neck backward.

Furthermore, hummingbirds can stop flying when they are injured when they bump into walls, windows, doors, and so on. They will feel dizzy and stop flying to recover from their bump if it wasn’t fatal. You may even see them hanging upside down when they are in this state.

Can Hummingbirds Land?

Hummingbirds are capable of landing on the ground. However, they can’t land as perfectly as other birds would. Their landing is on rare occasions because they can’t walk sturdily as their feet are not so strong. Their legs are very tiny and short and their legs aren’t so great with the center of gravity.

Notwithstanding, hummingbirds are still capable of landing and perching on tree branches with their tiny feet. Their feet are made to grip securely on tree branches. So, whenever hummingbirds land, they can prefer to perch on tree branches or on the edge of a birdbath.

But, in any rare occasions of hummingbirds landing on the ground, they tend to hop a little sideways using their wings as assistance.

Helping Hummingbird That Can’t Fly

do hummingbirds ever stop flying

So, there may be some cases of you finding a hummingbird that can’t fly probably due to injury and you wish to help, here is what you can do.

Ensure you check or look closely for any sign of injury like a drooped wing. If hummingbird breaks their wings, this can be a very serious issue. This is because they can be restricted to flying around to look for food to keep their vigorous metabolic activities going.

Hummingbirds need to feed every 10 to 15 minutes multiple times and they are capable of eating the amount of half of their body weight in just a day. This feeding behavior is very demanding and they fly about to look for food to meet up with their demands.

Therefore, if you find a hummingbird that has its wings injured, it is important you seek help as soon as possible. The best help you can get for the injured bird is to call a wildlife rehabilitator.


Occasionally, hummingbirds can definitely stop flying. Usually, they will stop flying either to rest from feeding or from an injury. They can also stop flying to sleep at night (torpor state).

Hummingbirds are also susceptible to collisions that they can bump into walls, windows, doors, and so on. When this happens they tend to stop flying and try to recover from their collision if it wasn’t fatal.

Read more about How Many Times Does A Hummingbird Flap Its Wings Per Second?.

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