Dangers to Hummingbirds
There are many dangers that hummingbirds will face. These dangers can occur either while migrating or even in their day-to-day lives. These include weather, predators, and man-made obstacles.
Hummingbirds will face many weather related dangers. While there are some reports of hummingbirds over-wintering in mild snow areas, a heavy freeze can potentially kill them. Extreme heat and drought can also kill a hummingbird from dehydration. Heavy rains over the Gulf of Mexico have been known to push the hummingbirds into the water causing them to drown. Wind has been known to blow a hummingbird into obstacles like thistles and thorns, causing a hummingbird great damage.
Predators are a big problem for hummingbirds.
Cats are a hummingbird's biggest danger. Because hummingbirds will dart and move quickly, cats love to chase them. Since hummingbirds are not much of a meal, a cat will usually just maul them to death.
Blue Jays, Crows, Roadrunners, Chipmunks, and Squirrels are notorious for eating hummingbird eggs and baby hummingbirds as a nice little treat. Hawks have been known to catch a hummingbird for a quick snack.
Fish, frogs, snakes, and lizards have been known to snatch up a low flying hummingbird for a nice meal.
Large insects like Dragonflies, Praying Mantises, and large flies like a Robber Fly, and have been known to stalk and strike at hummingbirds. Large Spiders can catch a small hummingbird in its web for a meal. Ants are also known for invading a hummingbird's nest and eating hummingbird eggs and even baby hummingbirds.
Most people think of hummingbirds as these graceful little creatures. However, they fly into things more often than most realize. They can fly into windows, walls, trees, cars, you name it. Many times a hummingbird will fly away with no problem. However, sometimes a hummingbird may be stunned and need first-aid or be killed outright. A hummingbird once even died from flying into a backhoe when it was parked in a different location one day at the local farm. The little guy was not used to the backhoe being there and flew right into a side mirror, probably at his reflection. We found the dust spot on the mirror and the little hummer right below it. That was a very sad day at the ranch.
Hummingbirds can also be attracted to the red and orange insulators on electric fences. If you have an electric fence, paint the insulators black to help prevent the hummingbirds from being fatally electrocuted. (This is very rare, but it has been known to happen.)
Hummingbirds can be trapped inside a building and starve to death if they are not removed quickly. See the First-Aid section of this website for information on how to help these hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds have such small beaks; they have been known to get stuck in window screens. Pay close attention to any hummingbird that may be stuck in a window screen or they may starve to death.
Not all dangers can be prevented so be mindful of hummingbird dangers when setting up your hummingbird habitat.