Can You Keep A Hummingbird As A Pet?

When talking about unique, wild, and beautiful birds, Hummingbirds will always be going to make the cut. There are more than 300 species of hummingbirds, some are similar to common birds while others are rare. They’re pretty small and adorable, no wonder why so many people want to make keep them as pets. But can you actually keep the hummingbirds as your pet? Well, let’s find out. 

Can You Keep Hummingbirds As Pets?

No matter how much you want to pet these adorable creatures, the truth is, it’s impossible to keep hummingbirds as pets. In fact, some countries have laws or regulations against keeping migratory birds such as hummingbirds. In the United States, having hummingbirds as pets is absolutely illegal. These birds can not survive in enclosed places and moreover, they eat insects and nectar that most people don’t have access to. It’s not only tough to care for one, but you also won’t be able to domesticate one.

Why Is It Difficult To Keep Hummingbirds As Pets?

Let’s pretend you live somewhere where keeping hummingbirds as pets isn’t illegal: Would they make good pets? Certainly not. Hummingbirds are quite delicate and require constant care. Here are some reasons why it’s not possible to keep hummingbirds as pets.

Dietary Problem

Migratory birds like hummingbirds have extremely difficult and exotic dietary requirements. While it’s wonderful to leave sugar water out for hummingbirds on their migration, the fact is that they require significantly more to live. Hummingbirds are picky about the texture of the nectar they swallow, preferring the less concentrated varieties with their tube-like mouths. Hummingbirds need protein to maintain a healthy diet, which they may get from tiny live insects like fruit flies and gnats.

They consume small insects as well. They eat an exotic diet to acquire the weight they lose owing to their quick metabolism. To collect all of the plants and nutrients that a hummingbird requires, you’ll probably need a complete greenhouse, and your hummingbird will need constant access to it. They eat almost continuously throughout the day, every day! Thus keeping them as pets and providing such diets are difficult for humans.

Enough Exercise

Getting enough exercise for your bird is an important part of keeping them happy and healthy and especially if it’s a hummingbird you’re talking about. Hummingbirds can fly very fast, at speeds of 20 to 30 miles per hour. Hence, they need extra space for them to fly around with ease. Even if they are kept in a very big greenhouse, the ultrafast speeds might be harmful to them. When they’re kept in enclosed areas, they might get injured while flying at this high speed. 

Small Size

Hummingbirds are pretty small in size and their length is between 3 to 5 inches. Hummingbirds are about the same size as a dime. This implies that if you try to handle them in any way, you run the risk of injuring or even killing them. Essentially, you’ll have a pet that you can’t touch or even attempt to domesticate because doing so will almost result in its injury or death.

Pecking Issue

Hummingbirds are fiercely protective of their territory. They won’t disturb you if you let them alone in the wild. When you try to handle them, no matter how gently, they become afraid and try to defend themselves by pecking you. Even if you try to feed them they can peck you pretty hard. They have a sharp and hard beak that can injure you or do a lot more damage. However, if you respond at all, you will very certainly hurt them. This pecking habit is particularly obvious during the mating season. 

Care For Baby Hummingbird

Imagine you got stumbled upon an abandoned baby hummingbird, what would you do? The baby hummingbirds are even more delicate. You need to handle them with care. Here’s how to take care of a baby hummingbird.

  • To begin, bear in mind that newborn hummingbirds do not have feathers, therefore they must be kept warm at all times. You can either place them back in the nest or make one for them using a carton lined with tissue paper. Avoid using cotton or cloth as the bird’s tiny legs might get stuck in them.
  • Maintain the temperature of the bird so that it does not become too hot or too chilly. If your environment is too chilly, place the nest under a lamp to provide ample warmth for the bird.
  • Contact a wildlife rescue group to see whether they have been attacked by ants or if they have been injured. The organization will then give the bird the necessary refuge until it is able to fly.

How To Spend Time With Wild Hummingbirds?

You may not keep a hummingbird as your pet but you can certainly spend time with this beautiful little creature. Since they are summer birds, they get attracted to sweet sugar solutions and insects for proteins. Place the nectar feeders 3 meters away from windows and at a height of 2 meters so that they can readily see them in your backyard or garden. To gain weight, the birds will cluster around the feeder. In the meantime, take this opportunity to admire and appreciate them.

Final Say

Hummingbirds are amazing birds and fly around looking for insects and nectar. They are quite more interesting than your regular pet birds. So, it’s best to leave them free so that they can find their food and return to your garden when they miss your bird feeders. There is an urge to keep them as pets but it’s best to set them free. 

Murphy Bernier

Murphy Bernier

Murphy Bernier is a New-York based freelance writer, professional blogger and certified dog trainer. She networks shelter pets to help them find homes and volunteers for rescue groups as she is passionate about dog rescue and adoption. From a very early age, she developed extensive animal handling skills from her dad, and that’s where her love for animals started.

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