Last Updated on December 18, 2021 by Griselda M.
When hosting hummingbirds in your yard, it’s good to know how to take care of a baby hummingbird – in case something inevitable happens. If you’ve spotted a nest in your garden and the mother is nowhere around, take a seat. Wait for about two hours, and if she doesn’t come back, the baby hummingbirds are abandoned.
Helping wildlife is tricky. You want to help save the hummingbirds, but you don’t want to domesticate them. Hummingbirds need lots of food during the day, and the babies are too young to get some on their own. Let’s guide you through some helping steps.
You Found A Hummingbird On The Ground – What’s Next?
Unfortunately, a short stroll in your garden might result in you finding a baby hummingbird on the ground. The first thing you need to do is gently pick the baby up and whatever it’s gripping with its toes. Hummingbirds have very strong feet, and if you try to remove what they’re holding, you can break their toes.
Also, it’s a myth that the mother will reject the baby if a human touches it. So don’t hesitate to take care of the baby hummingbird. But don’t feed them until you’re sure they’re not sick or injured. If you feed a hummingbird that’s not able to swallow, it can choke and die.
Hummingbirds can fall to the ground when their blood sugar gets too low. So they constantly feed to keep their blood sugar levels normal. A baby hummingbird can end up on the ground after falling from its nest.
Look Around For A Nest
Mother hummingbirds never abandon their young. When a mother is absent for a really long period, it means something has happened to her. Baby hummingbirds will stay quiet even if their mother is not there as a way to protect themselves from predators. Only until they get hungry. Starving baby hummingbirds will let out sounds for 10 to 15 minutes non-stop. This is when you need to get alarmed.
Once you find a baby hummingbird on the ground, look for a nest nearby. After locating a nest without a mom, inspect it for insects that might be attacking the babies. If it’s safe, put the baby back and wait for the mother’s return. If there’s an ants infestation, you can construct an artificial nest and put it nearby.
Contact An Organization
If this is your first time taking care of a baby hummingbird consider contacting your local hummingbirds’ association. They might be able to provide you with tips on the spot.
How To Care For A Baby Hummingbird
The first step is to determine that the hummingbird doesn’t have any injuries. Then, pick it up gently and place it in a padded box or basket.
Take the box to a more suitable setting that’s warm, dark, and quiet. After the bird has adjusted, take a closer look. If the baby’s pointing its beak upwards and opening it, you can start feeding.
Using a tiny droplet, place 3 to 5 drops of nectar every 30 minutes. If the baby has feathers, you can administer 5 drops, otherwise stick to 3 per feeding. Be very careful how you serve the nectar. Sugar water can stick to the bird’s feathers affecting its ability to fly, thermoregulate, and even water-proof.
Don’t feed the baby hummingbird sugar water longer than 72hours.
Is It Legal To Take In A Hummingbird?
The US Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 acts to protect hummingbirds from being harassed or ill-treated. It’s illegal to keep a baby or a grown hummingbird, its nest, eggs, or any part of the hummingbird in captivity. Unless you obtain a legal permit, traping, captivating, bonding, holding, or controlling hummingbirds is forbidden by law.
Many countries around the world have adopted the same policy to protect wild birds.
Those that decide to act against the law and keep hummingbirds in captivity will have the birds seized and face fines ranging from $15,000 to $200,000.
What If You Can’t Take Care For The Baby Hummingbird?
If you’re unable to give proper care to the baby at the moment, contact a wildlife center. They might drive to where you are and take the bird or ask you to transport it. However, try to act fast so the baby hummingbird won’t be starving for hours.
Do Hummingbirds Abandon Their Babies?
Hummingbirds are dedicated mothers, and they never leave their babies. They build their nest, lay the eggs, and take care of the babies on their own. After laying her eggs, the mother spends 16 to 18 days hatching them. The babies fledge the nest around 3 to 4 weeks after their hatch date.
If a mother hummingbird is missing, she’s probably in danger or got caught by a predator. Cats, praying mantis, spiderwebs, and windows are some of the hummingbird’s worst enemies.
How Often Do Hummingbirds Feed Their Babies
A mother hummingbird provides her babies with nectar every 20 to 30 minutes, from dusk till dawn. When the sun sets, the mother settles into the nest and keeps the birds warm until the following day. The feeding schedule resumes when the mother wakes up.
Do Baby Hummingbirds Eat At Night
Seeing a hummingbird feed at night is an exception to the rule. This usually happens with migrating hummingbirds. But, it’s not unusual to see a hummingbird at your feeder on warm summer nights.
Baby hummingbirds don’t feed at night. Since the mother is their only source of food and she spends the night resting, they finish eating at dusk. So even when a human takes care of the baby hummingbird, the natural feeding cycle needs to be preserved.
Final Say: Taking Care Of A Baby Hummingbird
Hummingbirds are not extinct but face great dangers due to their size. They’re exposed to greater conservation threats since bigger birds can adapt more easily to different conditions.
If you find a baby hummingbird do your best to locate a wildlife organization, as they might be able to take it in. Otherwise, you’ll need to dedicate a few days to help keep the hummingbird alive.
Hummingbirds are not pets – don’t keep the baby caged at home. Instead, provide a warm nest and nectar every 20 to 30 minutes for up to 3 days.
Have you ever found a baby hummingbird? Do you have a wildlife rescue center nearby?
Read more about How To Rescue A Hummingbird? – The Right Thing To Do
Meri is a passionate wildlife enthusiast with a special interest in hummingbirds. She loves to observe and learn about the different species of hummingbirds from around the world. After graduating from college with a degree in biology, Meri decided to pursue her dream of writing about hummingbirds and the importance of their conservation. She has since published several articles on the subject in various magazines and online publications. Her articles focus on the importance of habitat preservation, how hummingbirds contribute to ecosystem balance, and the unique behaviors of various species. When she’s not writing, Meri enjoys bird watching and taking pictures of her feathered friends. She also volunteers at her local wildlife center, helping to protect and rehabilitate injured or orphaned hummingbirds. Meri’s passion for hummingbirds drives her to spread awareness and promote their conservation, so that future generations will be able to enjoy their beauty.