Can Hummingbirds Be Pets? (All You Need To Know)

The Bee Hummingbird is the smallest known migrating bird worldwide at 2 inches in length. And weighs even less than 2g and mostly feeds on the nectar of flowers.

The wings make a humming noise when they fly; thus, the name ‘Hummingbird’ is given to them, and they are the only species living on earth that can fly backward. So, It is very intriguing to keep them in your garden, can hummingbirds be pet? No, usually you can’t adopt them, let’s explore why in details below.

Can Hummingbirds be Pets? no they can't

Can Hummingbirds be pets?

Seeing the most striking features of Hummingbirds, one is always tempted to adopt them as pets. However, it is impossible to adopt Hummingbirds as pets as their usual nature is to fly around, and it is very difficult to keep them as pets.

They can’t survive in enclosed areas as they are majestically great fliers. Within a blink of an eye, they can fly to remarkable heights. This quality is possible due to their small legs and feet that enable them to channel their energy to gather the strength to fly. However, unlike other birds, they cannot hop or walk since they have tiny little legs. 

Is it legal to keep a Hummingbird as a pet?

If you are someone who stays in the United States of America, it is completely illegal to possess a hummingbird as a pet. As per the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, no citizens can possess any type of migratory bird.

Hence hummingbirds being migratory birds, cannot be kept as pets as per law. So it is against the law in the United States to keep these hummingbirds, their babies, even their nests, or any part of their bodies captive without a valid permit from the government.

There are no loopholes or workarounds; still, if you keep them as pets, you are acting against the law. The minimum fine levied against someone for possessing a single hummingbird is $15,000, which can go up to $200,000. There are different reasons for the fine going so high, but the gist is that one cannot possess hummingbirds as a pet.

Is it legal to keep a Hummingbird as a pet

Very few people have valid permits to possess hummingbirds to reproduce them and put their babies for sale. The government usually purchases these baby birds to keep them in the zoos. Most countries have adopted these rules and regulations, but some don’t follow these. 

Can hummingbirds be tamed?

It is a very difficult job to tame hummingbirds domestically. The prime reason behind this is that it is extremely challenging to take care of them. Hummingbirds, unlike other birds, do not feed on green leaves and cereals.

They have exotic dietary requirements of feeding on flower nectar and insects, which is very challenging to replicate. Zoo feeders keep a sugar solution known as Nekton. However, they need far more than this. Hummingbirds are usually extremely intelligent, prefer being active, and move around to search for nectars and insects.

They are so intelligent that they never would get lost or will forget to return to their nests. Hence, it is best to keep hummingbirds free as they can find their own food and return on their will to eat from the bird feeders. I hope now you have a clear idea about can hummingbirds be pets or not.

Do hummingbirds get friendly with humans?

Hummingbirds are very adorable like other birds and have the nature to get connected with humans. They can recognize and remember people. All hummingbirds have a strong memory and sharp auditory sense and vision that enables them to remember humans and recognize them.

Do hummingbirds get friendly with humans

However, they don’t remember every single individual they come across, but they easily identify their birders from whose feeders they come to drink nectar. Their strong memory owes to their specifically structured brain, with the hippocampus deep-seated into its temporal lobe.

They tend to remember a particular individual’s behavioral pattern and recognize them through their strong memory and sharp auditory sense and vision. Hence they are accustomed to certain people and even inclined to perch on their fingers while feeding. That’s how they express their bonds with humans. 

How long do pet hummingbirds live?

Hummingbirds usually have an average life span of about 3 to 5 years; however in some cases, it has been found that they live for 10 years as well. Since they have so many different species, their life span differs from one another.

How long do pet hummingbirds live

In the USA, the most common hummingbird is the Ruby-throated hummingbird, which has an average lifespan of 3 to 5 years. However, the hummingbirds kept for research can live up to 6 years and 11 months on average.

The sad fact that has been found through research is that quite a considerable number of hummingbirds tend to die in their first year of lifespan. There is the case of the oldest known hummingbird to live for 12 years, and it has been recorded to live for even 14 years in captivity. 

Can hummingbirds live in captivity?

The usual nature of hummingbirds is free and wild, and they don’t prefer to be in captivity as they need long space to fly at a great speed. Hence hummingbirds do not tend to live a long considerable time if kept in captivity.

People without proper knowledge think they can keep hummingbirds as they are so fascinating but unable to meet their dietary requirements. The hummingbirds usually, on average, eats 200 to 300 fruit flies every day. Therefore, sugar water or nectar is not their prime source of diet, but protein is their main diet.

It is very difficult to find so many fruit flies every single day. Thus their dietary requirements are not met if kept on captive. This leads to health issues because they do not tend to live longer if kept captive.

What do you feed a pet hummingbird?

The dietary requirements of hummingbirds are quite different from other birds, who generally tend to feed on greens and cereals. Hummingbirds usually feed on insects and the nectar of flowers. Those who have permission to keep hummingbirds feed them with sugar water that is made and feed them.

What do you feed a pet hummingbird

They usually eat five to eight times per hour, so it’s best to provide natural food sources such as nectar-producing flowers, tree sap, fruit juices, pollens of flowers, and insects that also include spiders. However, it is strictly advised not to use pesticides or insecticides that would eliminate the presence of these natural food sources.

Also, the hummingbird nectar can be prepared at home and given to them to feed on. However, it is advised not to use dyed products, honey, sweeteners, molasses, and even raw sugar to feed them. 


Hummingbirds are such an attractive and fascinating bird species that it requires a lot of research to know them thoroughly. In this article, certain aspects of hummingbirds are discussed. It is not legal to keep them as pets as per Government laws and regulations.

The rare food habits and their usual behavioral nature is also discussed in detail. Though hummingbirds cannot be kept as pets, watching them fly around in full glory is a joy. 

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