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Do Hummingbirds Use Birdhouses? Everything You Want to Know!

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a hummingbird on a rope

Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures that build nests in shrubs and trees. These birds prefer making nests on their own, using materials they can gather in nature. While hummingbirds don’t enjoy using birdhouses, there are some ways you can help them nest.

If you are wondering about hummingbirds’ nesting habits and whether they will use the birdhouse you put up for them, read this article to learn more about these marvelous birds’ habits.

hummingbird divider

Hummingbird Nesting Habits

Hummingbirds have specific nesting habits, mainly because they are one of a few birds that are not cavity-nesters. They prefer nesting in shrubs and high trees, usually as high as 10 to 40 feet, and some nests were found even 90 feet above the ground. The nests are tiny and bowl-shaped, protected from sun, rain, and predators in dense foliage. The females are the ones that build the nests, using feathers, moss and lichen, dandelion, and bark pieces.

Hummingbirds

Image Credit: Glaucia, Pixabay

Do Hummingbirds Use Birdhouses?

Unfortunately, hummingbirds are a rare species that don’t enjoy living in birdhouses, regardless of size, shape, color, or location. Even though hummingbirds are thought to be attracted to the color red, coloring your birdhouse with this particular color won’t help in attracting hummingbirds. The reasons why hummingbirds dislike birdhouses are still uncertain, although it might be this way because of the rapid movement of their wings. A hummingbird’s wings beat around 720 to 5,400 times per minute, making it inconvenient to enter and exit a birdhouse freely. 

How to Help Hummingbirds Build Nests

While you won’t attract hummingbirds with bird feeders, there are some ways you can help them build their nests. Since these lovely little birds often search for the perfect materials to build nests, you can significantly help them by leaving valuable materials out for them. You can use hangers, where you will dispose of certain materials that hummingbirds collect for building nests. It would be ideal to stuff the hangers with dog or cat hair, loose cotton balls, small twigs, or pieces of bark.

You can even find or build a hummingbird platform that allows hummingbirds to build nests in an open space and even attach some furry materials to help them build nests as easily as possible.

allen's hummingbird

Image Credit: ArtTower, Pixabay

Tips on How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Backyard Birdhouse

Attract Them with Bright Colors

Hummingbirds are known for being attracted to bright colors, especially the color red. Try planting red flowers or adding colorful garden decor. You can even put up brightly colored birdfeeders or nectar cups.

Provide Fresh Water

Putting up sources of fresh water in your garden will most certainly attract birds and, among them, hummingbirds. Hummingbirds enjoy bubblers for water sources, so it would be ideal to put up a few bubblers in your backyard, next to a broad leaf where water would collect for hummingbirds.

hummingbird hovering near hummingbird feeder

Image Credit: MrsBrown, Pixabay

Provide Lots of Food

These fascinating birds feed on over a thousand flowers a day. Hummingbirds’ metabolism is very fast, meaning they tend to eat every 10 to 15 minutes. To create a place hummingbirds will feed with joy, put up hummingbird feeders or plant nectar-producing flowers in your garden.

Lower the Number of Feeders

While you may think more birdfeeders will attract hummingbirds, that is not always the case. Too many birdfeeders attract a large crowd of birds which may only discourage them. Even larger birds may come to these birdfeeders, which hummingbirds will see as a threat.

hummingbird flying towards the feeder

Image Credit: Katie Bernotsky, Unsplash

Work on Eliminating Harmful Insects or Predators

When looking for nesting sites, hummingbirds will choose areas free of predators or harmful insects. Dogs, cats, and snakes are predators that hummingbirds will avoid.

While hummingbirds enjoy feeding on some smaller insects, those like wasps or hornet nests can be extremely harmful to them. Praying mantises can also be dangerous to hummingbirds, so keeping away these insects would be advisable.

hummingbird dividerFinal Thoughts

While hummingbirds are fascinating to observe, they are less likely to nest in your backyard or birdhouse. Nevertheless, there are some things you can do to attract hummingbirds to your backyard, like providing water and food and drawing them with bright colors. You could even out up materials that hummingbirds would later use when nesting.


Featured Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.

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