Why are Hummingbirds Afraid of Humans? 

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If you enjoy watching hummingbirds, you may wonder why the small birds dart away from you as soon as you appear in a window, venture out into your yard, or come into view. Hummingbirds aren’t afraid of humans specifically, but they are definitely cautious around people. After all, humans are much larger than they are and have the potential to harm them. However, hummingbirds are curious and acclimate to people pretty quickly. 

In this article, we’ll examine the reasons behind hummingbird skittishness. Here are a few points, which we’ll examine more in-depth further on. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Hummingbirds are at the bottom of the food chain, so it makes sense that they are cautious about any animal that could pose a risk to their life. 
  • These little birds are naturally curious so if one does take a liking to you, it’s best to stay perfectly still to avoid scaring it. 
  • Depending on your level of dedication and the personality of your local hummingbirds, you can become ‘friends’ with a hummingbird. 

Why are hummingbirds afraid of humans? 

Hummingbirds aren’t more afraid of humans than they are of anything else. However, hummingbirds are very curious and since many people put out feeders to provide nectar for them, hummingbirds in many suburban backyards have grown accustomed to humans. With time and effort, training a hummingbird to trust you is actually possible. 

Why do hummingbirds fly away from humans? 

Hummingbirds usually fly away from humans because they’re searching for flowers to feed on. Humans are just a distraction to their real goal: finding nectar. In situations where humans pose a threat, hummingbirds fly away because they want to avoid danger.

Hummingbirds don’t fly away out of spite. They simply aren’t very interested in humans unless they have something to do with providing them with food. 

Are hummingbirds mean to humans? 

Hummingbirds pose very little threat to people. They are small and primarily concerned with finding enough food to eat each day. This leaves little time for fighting and aggression. 

The time of year when a hummingbird might be considered the ‘meanest’ is during breeding season. During this time, which is usually in spring, hummingbird males fight over territory and for the attention of females.

If you walk through a hummingbird’s territory at this time, you might hear one zoom right past your ear and tweet loudly about his ownership of the area. Anything more than that is unlikely. 

Can you befriend a hummingbird? 

hand feeding hummingbirds

With a little dedication and a nectar feeder, yes, you can befriend a hummingbird! Befriending a hummingbird is easiest if you already have a hummingbird feeder and hummingbirds that regularly visit it.

If not, it will be very difficult to bring hummingbirds to your yard and vanquish their fear of humans. Start small by putting out a hummingbird feeder until you have a regularly visiting population. 

Once you have regular visitors, it’s time to up the ante. Go outside often! Don’t bother the hummingbirds, though. The more the hummingbirds see you interacting with your yard and the area around the feeder, the more comfortable they will be with you. Over time, the hummingbird community’s curiosity will outweigh their fear and you’ll be able to see them closer than ever before. 

At this point, you can be satisfied with your relationship with your hummingbirds. They may be comfortable enough to fly a few feet away from you or hover by a window that overlooks the bird feeder. If you’re brave, you could try to imitate their whistles and chirps. 

What does it mean when a hummingbird flies around you? 

When a hummingbird flies around you, it could mean any of several things. Your clothes might be brightly colored, and from far off, the bird might mistake them as flowers.

You could be standing or walking in a hummingbird’s general territory. You could even be refilling a nectar feeder for an impatient hummingbird. A hummingbird could simply be curious. 

The likelihood of a hummingbird coming to you and flying around you depends on your location and activities. It’s unlikely that someone walking down the street in an urban area would be approached by a hummingbird. If you’re out having lunch in a well-maintained garden with many flowers, the chances are higher. 

Some cultures believe that having a hummingbird fly around you is a sign of good luck and joy. The bright colors and buzz of tiny wings are sure to lift your spirits if you are graced with a hummingbird encounter.  

Is it okay to touch a hummingbird? 

In most situations, no. It is best to allow a hummingbird to come to you, not to try and catch or trap it. Catching and trapping a healthy hummingbird is actually illegal in the United States, since they are migratory birds.

Hummingbirds are still wild animals and should be treated as such. However, if you encounter an injured hummingbird, it is okay to handle it in order to bring it to a wildlife care facility. 


Conclusion

Most hummingbirds fear people the same way any other wild animal does. Human behavior poses a risk, so they stay away. But, in the right environment and with patience, training a hummingbird to like you just takes time and a love for these small, zany birds. 

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About Mary Richardson

Mary is an outdoor enthusiast, nature lover, and amateur birdwatcher that enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences with others.