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How to Catch a Hummingbird? – 2 Simple Methods

Written by Clinton Atkins / Fact Checked by George Dukes

how to catch a hummingbird

Hummingbirds visit our gardens, but they are very tiny and easily spooked, so humans feel lucky when we spot them.

However, if a hummingbird gets trapped in your house, you probably would like to capture and release it outside.

In this article, we will show you how to catch a hummingbird and get it out of your home or garage.

Guide to Catch a Hummingbird

hummingbird-trapped-in-house

The two main ways to catch a hummingbird without hurting it are by the use of a net and cage traps.

Please know that if you are residing in the United States, it is illegal to capture, keep, and kill a hummingbird without a permit and appropriate training.

So, it is best to check your local laws in this regard to avoid fines or imprisonment.

Method 1: Mist Net

in-garage

This method is best done when installed in a bird’s natural habitat. Mist nets are basically invisible to the eyes of the hummingbirds, so they are easily caught in these items.

What to prepare

  • Two nets (one 6m-long and made of 24mm mesh, the other 3m-long; go for 70/2 denier/ply)
  • Poles (5-7ft)
  • Hooks (made of wire)
  • Feeders
  • Holding bag

Step 1: Gather all your supplies

Mist nets primarily come in three varieties: Avinet, Japanese, and Ecotone. Note that you are required to send a copy of your permit before you can even purchase one.

The 24mm mesh is perfect for small birds like hummingbirds. For the feeders, you can make nectar using sugar and water.

Step 2: Set up the poles

Place the poles upright in a box pattern. Add another two bars in the center for the feeders, both lower than the previous poles, with one slightly in front.

Make sure to anchor all the poles on the ground firmly to secure the area.

Step 3: Spread out the nets

After installing the poles, you can now set up the 6m mist net on their three sides, leaving one opening for the bird’s access to the feeders.

The nest doesn’t need to extend towards the bottom of the poles, as hummingbirds tend to rush upward when attempting to escape.

Moreover, do not forget to cover the top with a net (the 3m one) to prevent the bird from getting away.

Step 4: Arrange the feeders

The two poles you added to the center should be hooked on the feeders.

Clean the feeders and fill them up with food; you can add flowers like giant hyssop to attract the avians better.

Step 5: Catch with your hands

Before you see any trapped bird, wash your hands, keep them warm, and ready your holding bag to transport the bird.

Using the fingertip technique, hold the bird on its sides and back, freeing the abdomen from pressure.

The holding bag is an ideal container, since you can restrain the bird safely while allowing you to check the bird’s condition.

Method 2: Cage Traps

trapped-bird

Cage traps come in different styles and sizes. The most popular one is the drop-door. Other designs are the Round Sliding-door and the Collapsible Cage-wire.

This method is more manageable, portable, and cost-effective than the mist net.

To make a hummingbird trap, you will only need the cage trap, feeders, and a holding bag. Then, follow these steps:

Step 1: Place the cage trap near plants where it is visible to the birds.

Step 2: Next, place the feeders inside the cage and wait patiently until a hummingbird makes its way inside.

Step 3: Make sure that the bird is inside, preferably feeding, before pulling down the door to avoid the bird being injured.

Step 4: Follow step 5 above to transport the bird, and you are done!

Whichever of the two methods above you choose, the hummingbird’s safety should always be prioritized. Signs of birds in distress are blinking, gagging, and fluffing of feathers.

FAQs

without-hurting-it

How do you get hummingbirds to come to you?

Seeing hummingbirds up close is indeed a great opportunity. But in order to attract these beautiful creatures, they also demand pretty and sweet offerings.

First, supply them with food, preferably nectar. Ensure that you keep the feeder filled and clean to maintain their attention.

Second, use a lot of red landscaping accents like red ribbons to pique their interest. Hummingbirds are territorial, so if you put red ribbons on your plants and feeders, be sure there are several of them, so the avians don’t antagonize each other.

Can you capture a hummingbird?

If you have the permit and acquired the proper training, then yes, you can capture a hummingbird. Do not keep it in your home, unless you have legal authorization to do so.

In general, it’s best to just watch our feathered friends and leave them alone as long as they are not in danger.

Ways to catch a hummingbird indoors

There are many reasons why birds get trapped indoors. But a red light in garage and a garden in your house can be the main reasons.

A hummingbird trapped in house can be a tiring scenario for capturing the bird. But for easy steps, get your broom and follow these procedures:

  • Shut all the doors and windows, except for one with a bright opening and a potential bird exit.
  • Turn off the lights and shut all the curtains.
  • Lure the bird outside by placing food there.
  • Use the broom or any long stick to either shoo the bird or make it land on the stick. Then, take the bird outside.

The first two steps are the most critical in this procedure, especially to get a hummingbird out of your skylight because these birds are very attracted to light.

How to rescue an injured hummingbird?

Seeing our feathered friends in distress can be an emotionally draining experience. However, contacting a wildlife rehabilitator is your best option.

If immediate help is not available, gently place the avian in a box with tissue, not cloth. Offer the hummingbird sugar water if it’s feathered, and close the lid to provide warmth.

Meanwhile, you can read a catch a hummingbird book while waiting for professional assistance.

Conclusion

The hummingbird is a beautiful creature, but it can harm itself if trapped inside your home and unable to get out.

Now that you know the fundamentals of how to catch a hummingbird, we hope that you can safely capture and release it.

Remember, you must be patient and gentle, and don’t hurt the bird. If there’s any issue, take it easy on yourself and call a wildlife rehabilitator.

At last, we will love to hear from you! Please leave us a comment below.

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Clinton-Atkins


Clinton Atkins

Author

Hi, I'm Clinton. Rocky and I became friends after a birdwatching trip with our new group. And we have been enjoying every adventure together. When he told me the idea of establishing a site that shares our experiences and fun, I immediately agreed. After trials and errors, here we have Thayerbirding.

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