How do you care for a sick, injured, or orphaned hummingbird? We get this question a lot. The short answer is "try not to". It is best to let Mother Nature take her course. Many times by helping, we as humans can accidently hurt them. Hummingbird care and first aid is difficult at best and should be only done by a trained rehabilitator such as a wildlife expert or veterinarian trained in hummingbird care. There are some things you might want to do to help with hummingbird care and what you do all depends on the situation.
Always keep in mind that there are very stiff laws in the North America about holding a hummingbird in captivity. Heck, you cannot even own the feather of a hummingbird without breaking US and/or International Laws.
First thing to do is to assess if the hummingbird you found is (click on the link below or to the left for more information):
- Trapped inside a building?
- Stunned from flying into something?
- An Adult Hummingbird in need of care?
- A Baby Hummingbird in need of care?
Also, do you have a hummingbird first aid kit ready to care for an injured hummingbird until it can reach a trained hummingbird rehabilitator? If there are a lot of hummingbirds in your area, think about putting one together.
With hummingbirds there is less than four (4) hours to start care and only about twenty-four (24) hours to get help before it may be too late.
As sad as this may sound, always remember that not all hummingbirds will survive. Very few hummingbirds will make it though any sort of trauma, accident, or disease. Don't feel too bad if a hummingbird you are trying to rescue does not survive as rescue efforts are extremely difficult at best. Even the most seasoned hummingbird rehabilitation specialist will agree that hummingbirds are probably the most difficult bird to assist in the time of crisis. If a hummingbird you have attempted to rescue dies, consider planting a hummingbird flower in their honor and hope for a better outcome if there is a next time.
Always keep in mind that there are very stiff laws in the United States about touching a hummingbird or holding a hummingbird in captivity.