Can You Have A Hummingbird As A Pet? Understanding Hummingbirds Needs

Can You Have A Hummingbird As A Pet

The Hummingbird is one of the fascinating birds on the planet regarding movement, appearance, and behavior. 

This has made many people grow fond of them and want to study them more or keep them close.

You could be into birds, and you want to keep a hummingbird as a pet, and you want to know if it is possible. 

There are a lot of factors to look into when it comes to keeping pets. Let us look deeper into this bird’s life to know the facts;

Can You Have A Hummingbird As A Pet?

The simple answer is no; you cannot have a pet hummingbird since some laws prohibit it because of the bird’s nature. Hummingbirds cannot survive in small or enclosed areas, and that is why they are kept at zoos, where they have space to fly. 

They also primarily feed on nectar and insects, which most people cannot access; thus, feeding them in captivity is a problem. You can pay a fine of almost $200 000 if you illegally keep a hummingbird as a pet.

Why Can’t You Keep A Hummingbird As A Pet?

You could want to keep the world’s smallest bird as a pet, but now you are disappointed knowing that you can’t. 

These are beautiful birds native to the Americas, and it is only fair that you at least understand why you cannot have them as a pet.

The States protects hummingbirds under Cites Appendix 2, which includes birds not under threat of extinction, but their trading is controlled. They also fall under the protection of the Migratory bird treaty act of 1918.

To trap or keep a hummingbird, you need a special permit from the Government. These birds are fragile, and they don’t do well in captivity. 

The fines for illegal trapping of these species can range from $15000 to $200000. With such fines, it is clear that you should not think of restricting or trapping hummingbirds. 

Apart from the law, other difficulties make keeping hummingbirds impossible. Here are some aspects of the bird’s character that make them hard to keep as pets;

Their small size

Most species are between 3-5 inches, with the bee hummingbird being just 2.5 inches long. This small size makes them fragile and too soft to keep as pets. Holding them too tight might easily injure or kill them.

Their fast metabolism

Hummingbirds have the fastest metabolism among warm-blooded animals. While flying, they have the highest metabolism in the animal kingdom except for insects. 

This makes their bodies use a lot of energy, so they need to eat a lot. They need to eat every 10 to 15 minutes which will make them hard to maintain. You would have to be with the bird all day long, or else it would die of starvation.

Hummingbird’s diet needs

Most people believe that Hummingbirds only need sugar water to thrive. This is a wrong assumption because hummingbirds eat more than just nectar in the wild. 

In addition to this, nectar in the wild is richer and more complicated in nutritional components. Hummingbirds are also picky when it comes to the texture of nectar they consume; thus, it will be hard to get the exact food the bird needs. 

They eat insects to get proteins. A hummingbird eats insects and the total food consumed per day equals half its body weight. This means that they feed on about 1500 flowers and hundreds of insects which will be impossible for you to keep up with.

How To Spend Time With Hummingbirds

You can still have these beautiful birds around you even if they are not a pet. They can fly around your backyard and give you a feeling that is even better than having the bird in a cage inside your house.

This is a way to keep the birds without breaking the law or harming them. Having them around is better since they will be healthier and free in their familiar environment. 

If you are interested in being close to hummingbirds, here is a guide on how to do it; Hummingbirds are summer birds, and they are not hard to attract. 

You can hang feeders filled with sugar water around your house in the summer. The birds will get drawn to the water and feed on it.

Make sure you keep the solution in an open place so that the birds can spot them with ease. You will be able to admire the beauty closely without harming the birds. 

Ensure you wash the feeder every day since the sugar will get thicker over time, and it won’t work anymore.

If there is space in your backyard, you can grow flowers that can attract hummingbirds. They are more attracted to bright colors such as red and orange or yellow.

You will get beauty from the plants and birds that come to feed on the flowers by planting flowers.

Tips To Attract And Keep Hummingbirds

Feeding hummingbirds in your yard is a legal way to stay close to these birds. There are a few things you can do to attract hummingbirds and keep them coming back every day. 

1. Placing the feeder correctly

Hummingbirds prefer unobstructed views while they feed. A clear view allows them to see any approaching predators or danger. On the same topic, they need some cover to hide in when threatened.

When looking for a place to put the feeder, look for an area with some perches for the birds and cover to hide in. 

It would also help learn more about the type of flowers hummingbirds are attracted to and put the feeder near them.

Keep the feeder in a shed to keep the nectar fresh for a longer time. A shed will reduce the need for maintenance by cutting down on the rate of fermentation.

2. Using the correct timing and nectar

It would help if you got your feeders in place early. Get information on the annual migration, so you know when to expect them. 

Have the feeders installed a week or two before the scout birds arrive since they will bring more birds?

When it comes to nectar, use one part sugar and four parts water to make your sugar-water solution. This ratio will keep the birds satisfied and coming back for more the following day.

Do not add anything other than water and sugar to your artificial nectar. Honey may contain pathogens that can harm fragile birds.

Use sugar that is refined and safe for birds; you should not give artificial sweeteners to wild animals. 

3. The choice of flowers

Hummingbirds love red; this is why most feeders have the color red or its shade on them. These beauties are naturally drawn to red flowers; therefore, planting them in your yard will increase your guests. 

If you cannot plant flowers, you should buy a red feeder to attract the birds. Another option is tying a red ribbon close to the feeder to attract the birds’ attention. 

How To Handle A Sick Or Injured Hummingbird

Despite their small sizes, hummingbirds are fully capable of taking care of themselves in the wild. 

However, they can get injured accidentally or catch some infection. If such a bird ends up in your hands, you have to step up.

First, you must take the bird back to your house since it is not safe outside. Being injured means that the bird cannot provide for itself, and it might starve without your intervention. 

Provide nutrition to the bird by placing sugar water on its tongue. Please make arrangements to provide the bird with warmth and food for it to get better. 

Nurse the bird as fast as possible, and when it has recovered, you can release it back to nature. If your efforts don’t yield any results, call a vet for help.

Explain the conditions in which you found the bird, so they are in a better position to help. You can go much closer to hummingbirds than any other bird species since they are not scared of humans.

Their fast movements allow them to get away from humans when they need to, so they are not scared to get close. You can therefore have a better experience and companionship with the birds around your house.


You cannot legally keep a hummingbird as a pet because it is a health risk for them. Hummingbirds need a lot of food, and they can provide for themselves in the wild.

They cannot keep up their diet in captivity due to their complex metabolism. 

If you love birds and want them around, you can attract them to your home without trapping them. Plant red flowers around your home and install feeders with sugar water in them to attract the birds.

To keep the birds safe, use only sugar and water, do not add any artificial sweeteners or honey into the solution. 

Manufactured products may have unforeseen effects on the birds. Hummingbirds are fearless, so you can get close to them and admire these majestic mysteries.