House sitting

Hummingbirds are unique and beautiful birds. Everything about them is simply amazing, making many people wish to keep them as pets. But is it possible to keep hummingbirds as pets? Rachel Burns, editor at shares her thoughts on hummingbirds as pets…

Can Hummingbirds Be Kept as Pets?

The short answer is no: It’s not possible to keep hummingbirds as pets. Laws often forbid it due to the nature of the birds. Hummingbirds cannot survive in an enclosed area, and that’s the reason they are only found in zoos. They feed on insects and nectar which most people cannot access. There are several types of exotic hummingbirds which come in different colors and sizes. Keeping a hummingbird against the law can cost you almost $200,000 in fines. There are only a few people who keep the hummingbirds. These hummingbirds are allowed to reproduce and the baby hummingbirds are put up for sale. They are mostly bought by the government and kept in zoos. 


What If You Decide to Keep Hummingbirds as Pets?

If the law allowed it, what are the requirements for keeping hummingbird pets? These birds are delicate and require constant care. All hope is not lost as you can view the hummingbirds in your backyard if you’re able to attract them to your home. You can do this by getting some feeders and placing them strategically in your compound. You are advised to place the nectar feeders about 3 meters from your window and around 2 meters high. Put the nectar feeder either on a flowerbed or hung them on a tree and put some flowers. This will definitely attract the hummingbirds. 


Care for the Birds

In case you find an abandoned baby hummingbird, here are some tips on baby hummingbird care.

  • The baby hummingbird does not have feathers, therefore, needs to be kept warm all the time. This is done by either putting them back to their nest and if there is no nest, make one using a carton lined with tissue paper. Do not use cotton or cloth the baby as this might tangle their legs.
  • Contact the wildlife rescue organization so that they can check whether they have been attacked by ants or is hurt. Ensure the organization is well trained in hummingbird care.
  • Regulate the bird’s temperature to ensure that they are not too hot or too cold. In case your area is too cold, place the nest near a lamp so that the bird gets enough warmth. Remember to keep checking so that the heat does not become too much. 

Types of Hummingbirds

There are over 300 species of hummingbirds. Some of them are just like the common birds while others are rare. Some of the rare hummingbirds include:

  • Long-tailed sylph – The name says it all. Their long tail is their most distinct feature. Among the male, a long tail is seen as a sign of strength.
  • Rufous-breasted hummingbirds – Mostly known for their long-curved beaks that help them feed easily. Compared to other birds, they are the biggest pollinators as they feed more comfortably. Another interesting feature of this kind of hummingbird is the male and female beaks are shaped differently.
  • Anna’s hummingbird – They are known for their small size. That notwithstanding, the male can fly as high as 130 miles and then come down at a very high speed. They also have a special courtship dance.
  • Booted racket-tail hummingbird – The male species have very long tails with two racket-like feathers which greatly help in pollination. 

Those are just several examples of rare hummingbirds. Each of them with special features and sizes. 

Cat behaviour problem


How to Feed the Hummingbird

According to the zoos that keep hummingbirds, the birds have a very special diet. Unlike other birds, hummingbirds do not feed on serials and greens. Instead, they feed on nectar. The zookeepers often add a little protein supplement. Most zoos have parts for hummingbird feeders filled with Neckar by Nekton. This is just a processed sugar solution. Those that keep these birds take care of them and later put the baby hummingbirds for sale.

Hummingbirds are also quite perky birds, intelligent, have a good memory and are very curious. This helps them to move around looking for nectar. They can search long distances and come back to their nests without getting lost. The hummingbird also loves eating small insects so they need to be let loose so that they can hunt. 

Can a Hummingbird Be Considered a Pet?

Pets are supposed to have a special bond with their owners. The bond includes the pet recognizing its owner and loving him/her. For example, dogs and cats are man’s best friend because you can even talk to them. They even seem to understand what you’re saying to them. Even those that keep other types of birds have that special connection. For example, doves and parrots know their owners.

Unfortunately, hummingbirds do not even have a sense of smell and they (probably) cannot identify with the humans. Now that you have the facts about hummingbirds, can you own a hummingbird as a pet?

Considering the fact that the law does not allow keeping hummingbirds as pets and the sensitive nature of the birds, keeping them becomes even harder. Despite that, we’ve looked at some tips for hummingbirds care, exploring some of their characteristics. If you’re able to buy a buy hummingbird pet wherever you are, you’ll be well prepared to take care of it.

Did you find this article helpful? Feel free to add more features of the birds in the comments section. 

About the Author:
Rachel Burns is an animal lover and journalist based in Dallas. She’s currently an editor of, a website that helps pet owners learn more about animal behaviors, their training, health, food, etc. Read and take her useful insights! 

Did you know? Australian Honeyeaters may look similar to Hummingbirds but are completely different species.

More reading:
Birds and planes: Can they co-exist?
Yes, its ok to feed wild birds in your garden as long as it’s the right food
Birds and cats can get along
How to build a bug hotel
25 Benefits of children growing up with pets


Share this page with pet lovers


Comments are closed.