Tips for lost Hummingbirds

Tips for Adult Hummingbirds in Trouble

      Monique F. Rea Copyright 2010


  • Young Hummingbirds on ground generally need to be rescued unless nest is located.  Most often sparrows & finches can be placed away from danger and placed close to where found and the parent will find and care for them.  It’s best to call your local rehabber, wildlife rescue organization or animal shelter for more specific advice for specific circumstances.
  • Adult Hummingbirds trapped in garage or home are very disoriented and it presents a danger to them for lack of food and exhaustion.  Try to attract them with a hummingbird feeder near an exit to outside.  In case of high ceilings use a broom & attach a soft towel.  Reach up to them in order for them to cling to it then bring it down slowly. Take the hummer outside and carefully release from towel.  They don’t fly at night or in the dark.  Call for assistance if you need more advice.
  • Adult Hummingbirds found on the ground are there for a variety of circumstances.  #1.Collision with a window.  Still upright and breathing place in safe area, offer sugar water and watch for its recovery which could take 20, 30 mins. or maybe an hour until they get their composure. If you have brought inside to keep safe from predators release back outside in daylight. Remember if you needed to bring hummer inside be sure to have it in a safe covered quiet location until ready to release back outside.  #2. If one has landed in a puddle of water and soaked, wet feathers prevent it from flying.  Bring in and gently dry off with towel, keep warm & out of drafts.  Offer sugar water.  Keep in a warm safe, quiet place, a box with cover & allow air flow until it has recovered (20-30mins.)  Line the container with clean rag or paper towel.  Run a twig through a box for perching while recovering.  Remember hummingbirds eat frequently. While waiting for recovery from the mishap make sure the sugar water (see recipe) is available at all times through an eye dropper or small plastic bottle cap.  When it recovers release it outside during daylight. If found after dusk and dark wait until early dawn next morning to release.  They do not fly at night. 


  • Sugar water recipe: 1 part white granulated sugar to 4 parts distilled water and simmer 20 minutes then let cool
  • Call your local rehabber or wildlife rescue organization for further assistance.

Be sure to check for additional notes regarding lost hummingbird nestlings or fledglings………under “Tips for Lost Hummingbirds”

See hummingbirds nesting and raising their babies live.  

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These are three live cams streaming one from Irvine, one from Aliso Viejo and one from La Verne, CA.

Hummingbird Notes



DEFINITION:  Fledgling:  is the stage of most bird’s life that is one of the most precarious.  Hasn’t really developed flying skills, prematurely may have left the nest, parent cannot carry back to the nest.  They are on the ground and vulnerable to predators.  They are fully feathered, clumsy and haven’t learned to be afraid.

 IMPORTANT:  When in doubt if the mother appears to not have returned to the nest, follow these instructions before you remove and take it to a rescue facility

Take a seat and make yourself comfortable.  Observe and focus on the nest without leaving the area for a minimum of 40-45 mins.  The average feeding schedule of the female hummingbird is every 15-20 mins. within each hour (sometimes a little longer).  If the mother has not returned after the 45 mins, then take it to a rehab facility.  You can call the rescue facility to prepare them in case it will be necessary to rescue the baby hummingbird.  If you confirm the mother has had a mishap, please get the baby(s) to a rehab center as soon as possible.