Last Updated on November 15, 2021 by Guillermina
Have you ever imagined whether you can have a hummingbird as a pet within your home and enjoy their sweet company?
For many of us who are lovers of birds, keeping the hummingbird around as a pet can feel very exciting and entertaining.
Hummingbirds are notorious for their ability to make humming sounds with their wings. This bird can flap its wings from 10 to 50 times or more within a second.
They are one of the smallest migrating birds and the only bird that can fly forward and backward. They are tiny weighed birds with an average hummingbird weighing less than a nickel.
On whether a person can have a hummingbird as a pet, this guide gives proper guidance.
A pet simply is an animal that a person keeps as a companion and would usually care for and indulge from time to time. How to attract hummingbirds and care for them are also explained in this guide.
Can You Own A Hummingbird?
The question of whether a person can legally have a hummingbird and keep it as a pet is negative. It is illegal by law to trap or keep a bird such as a hummingbird as a pet. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 expressly proscribes this.
There are however exceptions where a person may be allowed to trap and keep a hummingbird or its egg. This is when such a person gets an express license or permit allowing him to do so.
There are many reasons why these birds cannot be kept as pets by humans. But one major reason is that it is dangerous for these species to live in captivation.
Keeping a hummingbird as a pet is, therefore, an offense with a penalty fine ranging from $15,000 to $200,000. It is thus advisable not to keep these lovely creatures as a pet or in captivation.
Reasons Why It Is Illegal To Keep Or Own A Hummingbird As A Pet
The following are some of the reasons why keeping this animal as a pet has been proscribed:
1. Size of the bird
Hummingbirds on average measure between 3-5 inches in length. They are really tiny creatures and as such really fragile. Holding them within a cage or in captivation will therefore harm them or in extreme cases, lead to their death.
The Bee Hummingbird is considered to be the smallest bird on earth. Keeping these lovely creatures in captivation is thus not in their best interest.
2. Diet requirements
The hummingbird requires a wide variety of nutrients to survive. Although the bird consumes sugar and water solution, this is not sufficient for its survival. The bird also requires some more nutrients which it gets from the nectar of flowers in the wild.
The complex nutrient which the bird gets from these flowers cannot be substituted with just sugar-water solution.
Asides from the nutrients obtained from the nectar of flowers in the wild, the bird also requires protein which is gotten from live insects, flies, and gnats. An average hummingbird usually feeds on over a hundred insects in a day.
Keeping the bird in captivation will therefore affect the complex nutrient requirement it desires.
3. Fast metabolism
The hummingbird usually experiences fast chemical processes within its system. It is considered to have one of the fastest mass-specific metabolisms when compared with other homeothermic animals.
Apart from insects, these birds have the fastest metabolism while in flight. The rapid flapping of their wings and fast-forward flights make their bodies consume more energy.
Unlike other birds, leaving them with inadequate food may not cut it for them.
4. Flying Capabilities
Hummingbirds have unbelievable flying capabilities. It has the ability to fly at a speed of 40-45 miles per hour without stopping.
Keeping a bird of this nature as a pet becomes difficult as it is quite difficult to control the direction it flies towards.
Trying to make these creatures accustomed to man-made structures and learning how to circumvent within a building may take considerable time and effort to accomplish.
5. Very Strong Beaks
This bird is notorious for its needle-like and strong beaks. If they are kept in confinement, they are likely to either harm themselves or harm others.
It is thus not advisable to keep them in confinement for their safety and the safety of the persons living in the house.
How Best To Enjoy The Company Of Hummingbirds?
For a person truly interested in enjoying the company of these little birds and spending time with them, the best cause of action is to get hummingbird feeders. These birds feed on sugar-water solution and putting this in a hummingbird feeder is a nice way to attract them.
These feeders can be placed not too far from your home so that you can have a perfect view of the birds as they drink the solution.
The feeders must be positioned in a way that is not directly under the sun. These little birds like a little shade while enjoying the sugar-water solution.
Where you already have a garden, you can place the feeder close to a flower. This way, you can easily view these birds when they visit the flowers. Where you don’t have this kind of flowers, you may decide to plant them as this is a sure way to attract these birds.
These feeders should be washed regularly. The reason for this is that if the solution stays inside for too long, it loses its quality, and becomes less attractive to the birds.
Can You Have A Hummingbird As A Pet: Conclusion
Like we have seen from the above points, it is illegal to put a hummingbird in captivation. So, you can’t have hummingbird as a pet.
If you’re truly interested in spending time with hummingbirds, there are other options are available. One common way involves getting a hummingbird feeder and providing nectar solutions for the birds in your yard.
Eunice is a passionate lover of hummingbirds and all things nature. She loves to observe and study the tiny birds, learning about their unique behaviors and unique features. She has written a number of articles about hummingbirds and their habitats, which have been featured in a variety of publications. In her spare time, she enjoys visiting hummingbird sanctuaries and going on bird–watching trips in her local area. She also volunteers with local wildlife rescue organizations, helping to rehabilitate injured birds. When she’s not outdoors, Eunice can be found writing articles, creating bird–inspired art, and playing the flute.