If you’re looking for a yes, I’m afraid you can’t get that. It is just impossible to have a hummingbird as a pet. While the birds may be adorable to look at, they cannot survive when confined in an enclosed space. They love and spend most of their time flying. Nothing pins them down – not even humans who want to pet a migratory bird like the hummingbird.
Since they have tiny legs, they cannot hop or walk like other bird species. The frailty of their legs only allows them to perch most times in the day. So, getting them in a cage will make them feel like they are trapped. What hummingbirds eat – nectar and insects – are food items that human beings cannot easily access. On the same issue of petting hummingbirds, the law prevents the possession of any kind of migratory bird. This implies that it would be criminal to hold the hummingbird as a pet. Anyone who engages in petting hummingbirds is liable for punishment for breaking the law.
Now, let us look at the hummingbird, pointing out all its behavioral specifics. Also, we will look at natural ways you can use to attract hummingbirds to your backyard. In the end, you will learn some facts about these birds. Then, some frequently asked questions about them will be answered. Let’s get humming!
A Longer Primer To The Hummingbird
In the world of hummingbirds, there are about 357 different types and species. At birth, a baby hummingbird is almost the same size as that of a penny. They lack feathers or hair and are completely bald. It only takes them under one month to get to adulthood and about 18 days before they can fly.
The heartrate of these birds is about 1260 beats every minute – something incredible and more significant than the mere 72 beats of a human. That can be comprehended by looking at the bird’s overall body mass and the surface area to volume ratio.
Many people think that the hummingbird is a hummer, but it doesn’t produce that sound — the bird only chirps and twitters. The birds get their name from the rapid flipping of the wings. The sounds produced are like hums.
As mentioned, these birds do not walk a lot of time – they are flying or hovering. Averagely speaking, the hummingbird visits up to 1000 flowers every day. How about that!
Deciding On Keeping Hummingbirds As Pets
This question explores a hypothetical situation – what if the law allowed us to have hummingbirds as pets? How would we even take care of them? The bottom line is that these tiny birds require constant maintenance as they are delicately fragile.
If hummingbirds flock to your backyard, you may be inclined to feel a little responsible for them. If that feeling kicks in, you just need to get ready as you would if you had pigeon pets. You should get a couple of feeders. Then, ensure that they stand in strategic positions where the birds wouldn’t be scared. Finally, you should put some insect and nectar feed and some flowers in the feeder. Within a few days or weeks, the setting will start to draw hummingbirds to itself.
Feeding Hummingbirds And Their Pet-ness
Reports from zoos that have hummingbirds say that the birds have special dietary requirements. While many other birds like greens and cereals, these tiny tweeters and chirpers feed on nectar. In the zoos, their nectar feed is always supplemented by protein.
The birds are usually moving around looking for nectar. They achieve this rapid and explosive seamless flying because of their memory and intelligence. They will leave their nests, go for long distances searching for food, and still come back. Since they enjoy eating insects, these birds should let loose and do their insect hunting.
As we all know, pets develop a strong connection with their owners. Pets can pick out the voices of their owners easily and run in that direction. Some people even suggest that pets are conversant with the human language. They know how to pick out scents, and the favorite one is that of its owner.
With hummingbirds, there can’t be a pet-human relationship like those cats and dogs share with their owners. First, the birds do not have powerful olfactory senses, meaning that they cannot relate with humans on the scent level. So, we can comfortably say that petting hummingbirds would be a job in futility. They love flying, and they probably won’t have the time to build a connection with you. The best way to enjoy a hummingbird is by watching it from the sides as it lives up to its wild instincts.
Getting Hummingbirds Into Your Backyard
The law strictly forbids the capture or trapping of hummingbirds. But that doesn’t mean that they are entirely distant from us. You can always attract them to your garden or backyard using the most natural methods. Using particular ways and making specific moves, the hummingbirds will come to your compound, and you won’t have to answer to the authorities. Now, here are the best steps for getting hummingbirds to your yard:
1. Adding A New And Rare Plant Species
Hummingbirds are not just attracted to anything. You need to look at reliable sources that talk about the hummingbirds’ item of attraction. The plants you get there are the ones you can start thinking about planting.
2. Organize A Blooming Schedule That Runs Continuously
If you are an expert gardener, this should be easy to understand. Hummingbirds are immensely attracted to the flower. You need to choose flowers to grow for the early times, the midsummer, and late summer times. This ensures that your garden or backyard has flowers throughout the summer. If you feel like this idea is a little tricky, get advice from local gardening experts. They will help you in making the best decision regarding the climate, soil type, and area. With continuous blooming, hummingbirds will have a great motivation to settle in your yard. You will soon have so many birds, and the sight will be so pleasing to enjoy.
3. Use Surveyor’s Tape Or Ribbons
Hummingbirds fly fast, and you need to catch their eyes as they pass. You can use pieces of surveyor’s tape that are about a foot long. If not, you can get orange plastic ribbons or any other bright color. Then, tie the ribbon pieces on deck railings, trees, and bushes – places near the feeders or the glowers. The color filled in those pieces will act as a lure that will bring the migrating birds down. If you have a blooming garden, the hummingbirds will stay there. The garden and its flowers and feeders might make them stay there for long.
4. Get Your Plastic Flowers Repainted And Your Old Feeder Rehabilitated
Most feeders are usually painted red, and the color may fade as time goes. If you look at the feeders and see that it has particular dullness, get some magenta nail polish and do the paint job again. Do not place and fill the feeder before the polish is dry. When it dries up, hungry hummingbirds will be attracted by the shining it exhibits. Then, they will come down to your garden and eat the feed.
I don’t expect you to be using excellent and expensive elbow grease and nail polish on an old and tired bird feeder. In your wisdom, look at the feeder to determine whether it has lived through its best years. If that is the case, go to a hardware store and get new feeders made of heavy plastic as they will be durable. As you make a choice, ensure that the feeders you choose can quickly be filled and cleaned. Place the feed and then wait for the hummers to descend.
5. Make The Birds Some Snag Perches
Birds like the kestrels, bluebirds, and the flycatchers like to use snags to perch. As you may already know, birds perch to preen or to rest. However, most times that birds perch are when they are hunting.
The wing activity of hummingbirds on the air is unbelievable – 80 beats every second that passes. So, yours is to get a branch exposed for the hummingbirds to come and rest. From that position, they can know if any rivals or dangers are approaching. The best way to go about the perch is by placing it around 50 feet from any of the feeders, ensuring that it is still within your view.
6. Introduce A Mister In Your Garden Or Yards
If you don’t know what a mister is, here is your explanation: this mister thing is an attachment for your regular garden hose, which is small-hosed. The mister is added to the hose to shoot fine sprays of water. Hummingbirds will see these gentle sprays as beautiful things that can shower them. For the birds, a mister is like a shower head that helps them cool off and clean out their messes. You can get misters at garden and lawn centers, hardware stores, and specialty bird stores.
7. Let The Cobwebs And Spider Webs Stand
While building their nests, the main ingredient that hummingbirds use is a spider web. When the birds get the nest and branch items, they use the spider web strands to hold them together. Also, the webs act like traps for insects. The hummingbirds don’t have to hunt; they source their protein from the insects stuck in the webs. It is a convenient way of getting something to eat.
Facts About Hummingbirds
At this point, you know to bring hummingbirds into your gardens. The two things that stand out are these – food and aesthetical appeal. When these things are present in your garden, many hummingbirds will find it an excellent place to rest after flying from place to place. Now, it is time to look at some of the most interesting facts about the world’s smallest birds.
1. The Birds Have Incredibly Powerful Brains
The brain of this bird is about 4.2 percent of its whole weight. Proportionally speaking, that is the largest ratio among all the birds in the world. Human brains are only 2 percent of the bodies of humans. You will find a veritable encyclopedia with wealthy info in the’ big’ brain of a hummingbird. Reports and studies have it that a hummingbird can remember each flower they have visited, especially during its migration journey. They can also know how long they need to wait between one visit and the other, that is, to give time for more nectar generation by flowers.
They associate humans with feeders; they can know the people to be counted on when an empty feeder needs to be refilled.
2. Hummingbirds Have Powerful Vision
The word we can pick to describe the vision of hummingbirds is this: terrific. These birds can see as much color as we do. Also, and unlike us, their eyes can unbelievably process UV light. This implies that they see more colors than we do.
Moreover, hummingbirds have with them the blessing of a third eyelid set. The nictitating membranes – which are the third skin flaps – act like googles to protect the birds’ eyes as they cut through the air.
3. They Have Great Hearing
The hearing power of humming birds is highly acute. Looking at some birds, you will see that they have cute and aesthetically-pleasing ears. The male birds of the Colibri genus have feathery ears, which are ludicrous. Reports have it the females dig the male bird’s ears. How about that!
4. They Have Built-In Weapons In The Shape Of Beaks
During the mating season, competition heightens among the hummingbirds. When males are pursuing a female, they go into a full-mean mode. If the male is a little too territorial, they will use their beaks (which are like little sharp knives) to stab each other in the neck-throat area. This happens after a bit of weaving and bobbing.
Their beaks are also their killer weapons when they are hunting for insects. When they are not eating nectar, the birds will use their beaks to snap the insects.
5. Hummingbirds Have Very Freaky Tongues
Over a long research period – years and years – scientists and birders have known that the birds use their tongues in the itsy-bitsy fashion to suck all the nectar in flowers. However, 2011 brought new developments in the same. It was discovered that the birds have forked tongues. These protrusions are in line with the lamellae, or the fine hair-like extensions.
When a hummingbird meets a flower, they start drinking by opening the tongue’s fork. From the forked tongue, the lamellae start unrolling and curling around a nectar drop. When the tongue starts coming back into the bird’s mouth, the fork will begin closing. This triggers the lamellae to trap the drop of nectar. You can find the video online, but I warn you that it might unsettle you for a little bit.
6. There Are Plenty Of Feathers On The Body Of A Hummingbird
Compared to any other bird, the body of a hummingbird is packed with more feathers every inch. This is with the exclusion of the wingless penguin. The feather count of the hummingbird is very festive, and the colors combine to create the most spectacular patterns.
These beautiful colors are not for a show-off – they are instrumental in the courting of females. When the time comes for the hummers to mate, the male hummingbirds use their tail feathers to make loud sounds. They usually climb high into space then dive headfirst past the females. Their cruising speed is about 65 feet a second. When they make their swoops, the fluttering of the wind happens through their tail feathers. Then, the squeaky sounds produced act like an on-button for the females.
7. The Build Of A Hummingbird Is Created To Perform Excellently
Compared to all the other birds in the world, the bird that can stunt-fly most expertly is the hummingbird. Apart from the usual, forward-moving flight, they can also do upside-down, hover, and backward flying. All the unconventional flying styles happen so fast that people don’t even see them. The birds beat their wings up to an incredible 200 times each second that passes. The precision, agility, and power possessed by the bird allow them to clock a dive speed of up to an average of 60 miles an hour and a flight speed of 30 miles an hour. Since the birds have incredible numbers when it comes to flight, they have been given much attention by bird scientists through experiments.
The Questions Asked
1. What Is The Name Of A Hummingbird’s Baby?
Like other birds, the young ones of hummingbirds are called chicks. They also take up the following names depending on the specific developmental stage: fledglings, nestlings, and hatchlings.
2. What Ways Do Hummingbird Mums Use To Feed Their Chicks?
The diet of a baby hummingbird consists of nectar and regurgitated insects. Before the mum teaches the chick about catching bugs and finding nectar, she finds the food times and breaks them down for her chicks. The feeding happens between one and three times every hour that passes.
The feeding business involves the mum getting her beak down and dropping the regurgitated food into each young one’s throat. The mother does this for about three weeks or even more than that.
3. What Are The Specific Months When Hummingbirds Deliver Their Babies?
If the climate is mild and the hummingbirds live throughout the season, the females may lay eggs every month. The nesting season shortens when the climate becomes cooler.
4. What Time Does It Take For The Hatching Of Hummingbird Eggs To Happen?
Many times, it may take between 16 and 18 days before baby hummingbirds break the shell of their eggs. When the temperatures are cool, the babies may come only after the 21st day of incubation.
5. How Long Does It Take For A Hummingbird Chick To Open Its Eyes?
Hummingbird chicks take around a week or more before their eyes open. Averagely, the chick’s eyes open on the 9th day.
6. Can I Touch The Chick Of A hummingbird?
While you may be dying to touch one, you should avoid handling them. It is only in several instances that touching them may be necessary. For example, you may have found an abandoned chick and want to care for them or get them some care. If you see a young hummingbird, try and find a nest where you can leave them.
7. I just found a baby hummingbird. What should I do?
There is really nothing at all that anyone can do for a hummingbird’s chick apart from talking to the wildlife center closest to you. The Internet should have a phone address and a number for you to contact them. Once you get to the centers, you will meet people with experience in wildlife care, and they will take it from there.
If you are in a position where you can’t contact the center, take some steps to ensure that the bird’s health is taken care of. First, do not leave it outdoors because many predators will want to feed on it. The other option is going to a local vet, especially the ones that deal with pet birds. Prepare to incur some costs for your care but rest assured that the vet will take care of the young one well.
The other thing is that you try locating the nearby hummingbird nest. It may be that the bird only fell out of its nest. Do not forget that the female will keep feeding the chick even if it falls out of the nest.
8. I Just Found A Baby Hummingbird, And I Want To Feed It. What Can I Give?
Before the bird gets to the hands of an expert, you can prepare a dilute sugar and water solution. This is not a long-term solution, so you need to get assistance before 24 hours are over.
You should know that there are very few birds nicer than hummingbirds. Living next to them may excite your life immensely. Their twitters and chirps can make life very exciting for you. If you have children, they will be delighted to see the most beautiful birds attracted to their yard.