How To Get A Hummingbird Out Of Your House 

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If you’re lucky enough to have a thriving hummingbird population in your backyard, you may encounter swarms of hummingbirds waiting around a kitchen window or back door in anticipation of fresh nectar. An unsuspecting hummingbird might accidentally venture in through an open door or window.

Now comes the challenge – how do you remove a hummingbird from your house without hurting it? There are several ways to do so that are low-stress for both you and the hummingbird. 

This article takes a look at 9 steps to get a hummingbird out of your house. Keep reading to learn about these methods. 

How To Get A Hummingbird Out Of Your House 

male anna's hummingbird
Male Anna’s hummingbird | Image by Bryan Hanson from Pixabay

1. Visually locate the hummingbird. 

Some hummingbirds can be heard before they are seen because they are so small. Make sure you have visual confirmation of the bird if you believe one is trapped in your house. Moths and bees can make similar noises, and you don’t want to get prepared to remove a hummingbird just to find out it’s actually a hornet! 

Most trapped birds instinctively fly upwards to escape. This might help them get out of a thicket in the wild, but in a house, a ceiling will prevent them from leaving. If you scan the ceiling of the room, you may spot the hummingbird faster than if you simply look at ground level. 

2. Remove and turn off anything that could threaten or hurt the bird. 

Hummingbirds have many predators, including domestic pets. In the wild, a hummingbird can flee from cats or dogs, but indoors, they’re trapped. As soon as you have eyes on the hummingbird, remove any pets from the room. 

If there are children around, exercise judgment in whether they can assist in removing the bird or might just contribute to more confusion. Ensure that they are quiet and refrain from making noises that might upset it further. 

Turn off devices such as televisions or speakers. Bright screens and loud noises may confuse hummingbirds about which way is outside. 

If you have a ceiling fan or any other type of fan in the room, turn it off too. It goes without saying that spinning blades in a room with a scared hummingbird is not a good combination. 

3. Close any entrances to non-exterior locations. 

If there’s an open closet door in the room where the hummingbird is trapped, close it. Close any cabinets, cupboards, and openings to other rooms or dead-end storage spaces. 

4. Turn off the lights and open the windows. 

Hummingbirds are naturally attracted to light sources. If they notice a light differential between the indoors and outdoors, they’re more likely to fly towards that source. 

Turn off the room’s lights to reduce confusion between which light is from the sun and which is from an artificial source. If you’re in a room with windows that open, throw open the curtains and open as many windows as you can. Don’t forget to take off the window screens to assist the hummingbird in creating an easy exit.

Similarly, if the room has a door that opens to the outside, like a porch or garage, ensure it is open.

If they’re in an interior room without windows, make a passage for them to exit. Prop open the doors and remove access to spaces that are farther away from the outside. 

5. Remove distracting objects. 

Many hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, and other very bright pinks, yellows and oranges. Like the color of the flowers they are used to visiting. This is helpful when they are buzzing around outside in search of their next meal, but not so much indoors. If the room the hummingbird is trapped in is decorated with vibrant colors or flowers, attempt to remove as much of that as possible. This includes pillows, blankets, and any other brightly colored decoration. 

Don’t forget about toys, either. The bright colors of children’s toys may confuse a stressed hummingbird. 

Female Ruby-throated hummingbird at our feeder | image: birdfeederhub.com

6. Place a hummingbird feeder outside a primary exit. 

Set a hummingbird feeder with nectar in it directly outside the most obvious exit path. This will help the hummingbird orient itself and provide it with a sense of familiarity. If it’s been drinking from your backyard feeder for any amount of time, it’s possible that it will gravitate to the food source because it is one of the few things it recognizes in a foreign environment. 

7.  Encourage the hummingbird to leave by shooing it with a broom. 

Don’t touch the hummingbird during this process! Hold a broom upside-down and nudge the air around the bird in the direction of the exit. You can successfully get the message across from one to two feet away. 

There’s no need to make contact between the broom and the bird. In fact, hitting the bird with the broom could accidentally injure or even kill it. 

8. Close all the exits as soon as the hummingbird leaves. 

Once the trapped hummingbird leaves, it’s important to close all the exits so it doesn’t come back in again. Disoriented and confused birds sometimes return to places they’ve been. You want to prevent this from happening. 

During this process, you may discover how the hummingbird entered your house in the first place. These tiny flying jewels are known to sneak in by way of doors left ajar, broken window screens, and large vents. 

Assess your home after securing the exits. Is there an open window or broken screen somewhere? Be sure to close or fix it as soon as possible. If you have a feeder that is very close to your garage, back door, or other entrance to the house, you may want to consider moving it further away.

Allen’s Hummingbird | image by Becky Matsubara via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0

9. Gently pick up an exhausted hummingbird and place on a feeder outside. 

An exhausted hummingbird trapped in your home might perch for a while to regain energy. If you’ve been waiting for more than an hour with open exits, picking up the hummingbird is a last-resort option. 

Approach the hummingbird silently. Gently make a cup with your hands around the bird. Do not pinch or grab the hummingbird with your fingers. A great way to safely do this is to imagine holding a butterfly without squishing its wings. 

Slowly bring your captive hummingbird outdoors to a feeder. Allow it to drink and release it immediately. Don’t forget to wash your hands! 

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About Anna Lad

Anna is a wildlife biologist who graduated from Texas A&M in 2020. She enjoys feeding, studying, and taking photos of wild birds and hummingbirds. She once worked as the hummingbird department manager at a Wild Birds Unlimited store.