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.  You can also use a hummingbird feeder slowly and progressively moving it closer and closer to the exit.  This gives it some hydration and encouragement to move closer to the exit  and eventually return to the outside.  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 the hummingbird gets it’s composure. If you have brought it 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. 


  • Sugar water recipe: 1 part white granulated sugar to 4 parts distilled purified water and simmer 20 minutes then let cool
  • Call your local rehabber or wildlife rescue organization for further assistance.  Never use honey or any other substitute. 

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.  



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

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