Dear Monique — We have a tiny hummingbird’s nest in our backyard with two babies that hatched a few weeks ago. We haven’t seen the mother for at least two days and are afraid she might have died. Should we bring the nest to Native Animal Rescue? — Concerned
Dear Concerned — I’m glad you asked this question. You may help us teach our friends and neighbors to not “over-rescue” baby hummingbirds.
In June, on two different occasions, people brought nests to NAR containing two baby hummingbirds. In both cases, the people said they had been watching the nest for a few weeks and hadn’t seen the mom feeding or sitting on the nest for the past day or two.
In both cases, the babies looked well taken care of, proof that the mother hummingbird was around. We explained that mother hummingbirds feed their babies quickly and secretly to prevent predators from finding the nest. In fact, they intentionally feed quite a distance away from the nest to protect their babies. We also explained that once the babies are fully feathered, the mother doesn’t need to sit on the nest any more to keep them warm.
Both parties discovered that the mother birds were indeed around, and both successfully reunited the moms with their babies by securing the nests with babies back where they had been.
Unless you find the mother bird dead, please call NAR before bringing in a nest of babies to discuss the situation. We can help you!