Last Updated on December 31, 2021 by Guillermina
How do you really think hummingbirds die? Just like all other living creatures, hummingbirds die at some point. Death may be caused by a natural phenomenon or it may be caused by an external factor.
Hummingbirds enthusiasts always enjoy the feel of having hummingbirds around their garden and feeders. Whether the death of a hummingbird is caused by a natural or unknown cause, knowing how to handle a dead hummingbird is necessary.
If you’re enthusiastic about having these beautiful birds around, it is important to know how to treat them. Rough handling of these birds can result in their death.
This article reviews the possible ways on how a hummingbird may die. Things you should likely do when around these birds to protect them are also suggested.
Why Do Hummingbirds Die: Common Things That Kill Hummingbirds
There is a wide range of things that can bring about a dead hummingbird. These are some of the common reasons why hummingbirds die?
One of the most prominent reasons responsible for the death of hummingbirds is attacks from predators. Predators of hummingbirds include cats, bees, wasps, praying mantis, other birds, frogs, snakes, bigger birds, etc.
Whether they are feral or pets in the house, cats pose a serious threat to hummingbirds. These predators continue to reduce the number of hummingbirds we find around. Keeping these predators away when it is within our power to do so is a great way to protect them.
· Hummingbird feeders
Hummingbirds are a big lover of the sugar-water solution. This solution is usually placed in hummingbird feeders to attract them. Neglecting to regularly clean these feeders can lead to infections, diseases, and ultimately, death for visiting hummingbirds.
Where hummingbird nectar has fermented in the hot sun, it becomes easy for bacteria to grow in it. Regularly cleaning the feeders and changing the content is a good way to keep it safe for the bird.
This is another major cause of hummingbird deaths. Some common diseases that may be contacted by these birds are Candidiasis and Avian poxvirus. Candidiasis is usually caused when honey is used in preparing homemade nectar for hummingbirds.
This makes the bird find it difficult to consume food, making them undernourished and ultimately die. Avian Pox on the other hand is usually transmitted when a hummingbird is in contact with dirt. Such contact with contaminated perches, feeders, or watering stations can easily cause Avian pox.
· Accidental Contact with Physical Objects
Hummingbirds have really quick reflexes and an enviable sense of spatial awareness. However, there are situations where they may accidentally collide with a physical object.
This may be as a result of poor room light or error in calculations. Hummingbirds usually collide with moving vehicles, clean transparent windows, fences, et cetera. Due to the powerful momentum with which they fly, they may find it very difficult to stop midair and change their direction.
Such a collision may lead to death in serious situations. It may begin with an injury to the head, neck, or wings and this may lead to death eventually.
· Extreme Weather
Hummingbirds can easily survive in a temperature ranging between 32 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature that falls below 32 or is above 100 degrees will therefore be extreme.
Such extreme conditions may lead to the death of some hummingbirds. To avoid harsh environmental temperatures, hummingbirds usually migrate. There are however some that are unable to migrate as a result of illness or old age. Such hummingbirds may die from such extreme conditions.
· Natural Death
After the lifespan of the hummingbird has been exhausted, the bird may die naturally.
How To Tell If A Hummingbird Is Dying
Being able to recognize whether a hummingbird is sick or dying will help you decide how best to help.
There are usually two ways to recognize a sick or dying hummingbird- Appearance, and Behavior. Now let’s look at these briefly;
A sick bird that shows symptoms of illness can be easily recognized by its appearance. A healthy bird would usually look clean and unruffled. It would have the features ordinarily expected of a bird of that nature. Its feathers will be in place, its posture will be very alert and its eyes clear.
Sick birds however appear different. They have very dull and unfocused eyes, fluffed or rumpled feathers, especially during cold periods. They may have swollen eyes, missing feathers, and even visible injuries.
Recognized from its behavior asides from appearance is a sick or dying bird. Not all sick or dying birds show symptoms easily recognized from their appearance.
A sick or dying hummingbird may show difficulty in breathing, find it difficult to fly properly, and may limp. Other things to notice are head listing to one side, drooping wings, sitting too still even when being approached, or seeming to fall asleep.
What To Do When You Find A Dead Hummingbird
In a situation when you find a dead hummingbird, you must act immediately but carefully. Immediately wrap the dead bird in one layer of paper towel, keeping the feathers smooth. Put the wrapped dead bird in a plastic bag and fasten it.
Thereafter, put a tag on the bag, showing the date, time, and place where you found the dead bird. You can thereafter call your local college biology department or the federal bird banding laboratory where it is banded.
How Do Hummingbirds Die: Conclusion
This article gives an insight into how hummingbirds die generally.
When next you notice a hummingbird is in danger, make sure to intervene to help by calling a wildlife rehabilitator.
When you however find it dead, ensure to do the needful. I believe you now have a good understanding of a response to the question how do hummingbirds die?