Mother Has Abandoned the Nest

HummingbirdMany people think that the mother has abandoned the nest when she is no longer sitting on them especially at night.  Normally this is not the case.  Mom stops sitting on the babies when they are about 10 days old and are able to keep warm by themselves.  During the day she flies in to feed them which only takes 3-5 seconds about 4-6 times an hour.


Baby hummingbirds use silence in the nest as a defense against predators.  If the babies are vocalizing by constantly peeping for more then 10-15 minutes, they are in trouble (starving) and need help immediately.  Silent babies are usually healthy well fed babies.

Keep rescued babies in the nest if possible.  If not, line a margarine container with soft tissue and keep the baby warm.  THIS IS ESSENTIAL.  Place it on a heating pad (medium setting) or use a hot water bottle.  Do not overheat the bird.  If it starts open-mouth breathing or it's neck is outstretched, the heat is too hot. 

Without the proper diet and care, a hummingbird will not survive.  It needs to go to a wildlife rehabilitator that specializes in these birds and has the correct diet and caging.  Baby hummingbirds need a protein diet and cannot survive on sugar water.  Sugar water also gets on their feathers creating a bacterial problem.


Sick or Injured

During the day, healthy hummingbirds should be alert and actively flying, preening, vocalizing, and defending territories.  Hummingbirds that are seen constantly perching on a feeder, have body feathers that are puffed out like a cotton ball (during the day), eyes closed, or have tongues extended out of their bills are most likely unhealthy birds and need treatment by a wildlife rehabilitator asap.  Contain the bird in a shoe box lined with tissue.  Make sure the box has a lid.  Keep the bird warm with a heat source.



Hummingbirds often become trapped in homes, offices, and garages.  The situation can be very frustrating.  One may have doors and windows open to enable the bird to escape, but the bird seems to concentrate at the ceiling or windows located high above.  This is the bird’s natural instinct and will need coaxing into coming down.

Put something red (scarf, artificial or real flowers, or a hummingbird feeder) by an open door or window that is visible to the bird.  Hummers are attracted to the color red and might come down to investigate.  If the bird has been trapped for several hours, it will need to be fed sugar water.  Don’t release hummingbirds at night.


hummingbird hatchlings
Rescued hummingbird hatchlings in a small wicker basket
baby hummingbird
Hummingbird in a handmade nest
Baby Hummingbirds
rescued hummingbirds
Not A Hummingbird-Dove
nestling dove
(NOT a hummingbird)
call EVW at 480-814-9339
if the bird looks like this
baby hummingbird
fledgling hummingbird
adult anna's hummingbird


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You can make a disposable heating pad by putting a cup or two of dry, uncooked rice in a plastic bag or old sock with a knot in the end and microwave it for 45 seconds.

Last updated November 1, 2022