Laws About Hummingbirds
In the United States the law that regulates the possession and or capture of any migratory bird and is called the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. This law specifically includes hummingbirds in the list of Migratory Birds that are protected under the United States Code of Federal Regulations.
Basically, it is illegal in the United States to hold a hummingbird, a hummingbird nest, a hummingbird baby, or any part of a hummingbird, nest, or egg, in any type of captivity in any way, shape, or form. This means that unless you have a valid permit, it is illegal to trap, band, hold, harass, or control any hummingbird or any part of the hummingbird, nest, or egg.
Shorter answer: You can look, but don't touch.
If someone is caught violating this law, the hummingbird will be taken away immediately and there is a fine of anywhere between $15,000 (fifteen thousand) and $200,000 (two hundred thousand) US dollars.
To view a summary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 law, go to: http://www.fws.gov/laws/lawsdigest/migtrea.html.
A hummingbird is listed as a Migratory Bird under the United States Code of Federal Regulations, Title 50, Chapter 1, Part 10, Subpart 13 - List of Migratory Birds. The Citation Number is 50CRF10.13.
Other countries have adopted these rules and regulations. For those who live outside the United States, contact your local government offices to see if your country has signed this treaty or has rules and regulations of their own that protect hummingbirds.
If you decide you should get a permit for the care of hummingbirds, contact your regional permit office of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service at: http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/mbpermits.html. The permits will cost about $50 (fifty) to $100 (one hundred) dollars or more, depending on the type of permit you may need.
For more information on bird banding, go to: http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl/.