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How to Get a Hummingbird to Land on Your Hand

Hummingbirds are so cute and tiny creatures that almost everybody wants them to sit on their hands and eat. However, the question is how to get a hummingbird to land on your hand.

Well, it may sound a bit difficult because they consider humans or other large creatures as threats and will never go near them. However, with a little bit of effort and following the right strategy it is possible.

In this article, you will learn how to get a hummingbird to land on your hand in a step-by-step manner. In addition to this, I will also give you some tips which will help you speed up the process.

How to Get a Hummingbird to Land on Your Hand

How to Get a Hummingbird to Land on Your Hand

Just as I mentioned, it is possible to befriend a hummingbird and make it land on your hand. However, you should keep in mind that this whole process can be time taking. You should have a lot of patience to fully gain the trust of these tiny birds.

Just like attracting and befriending any other animals, the process of landing a hummingbird on your hand starts with feeding it.

Make sure you have a hummingbird feeder already on your porch or yard. It will help you attract them to your location before starting to gain their trust.

If you don’t have a bird feeder then you can also use a plastic container or something else. But it is always better to have a specialized hummingbird feeder.

Here’s a complete process of getting a hummingbird to land on your hand.

1. Attract Hummingbirds to Your Location

To be successful, you need to attract hummingbirds close to your location. You can do this by placing a hummingbird feeder in your porch or yard. It is even better if you place it in a shaded and well-hidden part of the house.

When the bird comes to the feeder for food, make sure to not startle it. Stay calm and don’t move around much until it becomes normal with your presence.

2. Choose the Right Feeder

It is important to choose the right feeder if you want a hummingbird to sit on your hand.

Make sure you have an inverted bottle like shape as it will make things easier for you.

A normal one with a big opening will not be of much use as the bird won’t enter inside it and realize that there’s food inside.

As you are choosing the feeder, make sure that it is easy to fill. Once the nectar gets over, you need to refill it regularly.

3. Feed Them Well

After successfully attracting them, the next thing you need to do is provide them with enough food so that they become comfortable over there.

So all you have to do is keep the feeder always filled with fresh nectar solution mixture according to manufacturers’ recommendations.

Also, if the solution starts to spoil or ferment then change it as soon as possible so that you attract them towards you more easily.

4 . Don’t Touch them at First

If you immediately try to touch a hummingbird then it will fly away from your hand. If the bird is small, then it might get scared and could even fall. So what you should do is slowly bring your hand closer to the feeder until they get used to your presence.

Once they are comfortable enough with your presence, gradually bring your hand closer to the feeder until the bird starts coming on it.

5. Observe their Behaviour and Take Notes

If you want to speed up the process of landing a hummingbird on your hand, then I would recommend that you keep an eye on their behavior carefully.

Make notes of all the little things they do which will help you read their body language and understand what makes them comfortable or not.

Just like humans, birds also indicate if they are happy or not by their body language. So you should be keen to notice if they are interested in the nectar solution if they are comfortable with your presence, etc.

holding a hummingbird while it is eating nectar from the birdfeeder

6. Stick Around, but Take it Slow 

As you are making progress with the process, make sure to stick around but don’t try to do anything which scares them.

Even while they are feeding on your hand, move slowly if possible otherwise back off a little bit until you are comfortable enough for them.

Also, be patient and don’t get discouraged if things aren’t working out well at first. The more time you spend with them, the more they will get used to your presence and trust you.

7. Do it in Small Steps Consistently

Make sure that you have a lot of patience because this is not something that can be done overnight unless you are lucky enough. Also, take things gradually one step at a time so that you don’t lose your chance in the middle.

Make sure to follow all the steps consistently and don’t lose patience. Sometimes it will take you weeks to attract them to your yard.

Speaking of attracting, have you checked my guide on how to attract hummingbirds?

8. Hold the Feeding Station

Once the bird starts coming more and more closer to you and feels comfortable with your presence then it is time to up the game a bit. This time you will need to stand very close to the feeding station and let the bird feed.

Try holding the feeder in your hand and wait for a little while. At first, they won’t come near you but since they are hungry they will eventually try coming closer. Don’t make sudden moves and let the bird feel fully comfortable with you holding the feeder.

9. If you’re Using a Feeder, Provide a Perch for Them

If you are using a standard feeder with a perch then make sure that it is sturdy enough and can hold their weight when they sit on it.

In case there’s no perch, don’t worry, you will have to do this the other way around by placing your hand very close to the feeding chamber so that they can come on it comfortably.

Friendly hummingbird feeling safe in hands

10. Tiny Birds are More Prone to Getting Scared

Sometimes the hummingbirds feel more comfortable with your presence if you are wearing a glove or keep your hand covered, which will help you not to look too intimidating to them.

However, keeping in mind that even small birds like hummingbirds can get scared, you should be careful and make sure to follow all the steps slowly and patiently.

11. Be Gentle with Them

Even though small birds like hummingbirds can get scared, they also trust humans for feeding them and providing a home for them to live in. So it’s important that we spend time with them and understand their behavior carefully.

Also, it’s very important to understand that they are not pets so don’t try to interact with them as you would whenever you have a pet. They can be handled but will always be flighty and scared.

And also there is a high chance that your hummingbirds will leave the feeder if you try to hold them too much.

Tips for Speeding Up the Process

You can speed up the process a little bit by following the below-mentioned steps. However, they may not always work but most of them will bring some positive results.

Here are some tips that you can follow while learning how to get a hummingbird to land on your hand.

Wear Red or Bright Colors

Hummingbirds are attracted to red objects or clothes. So make sure that you are wearing something bright colored while doing this.

They can notice the difference in color between your hand and clothing which will keep them curious enough to get closer to you.

Steady your Hand 

Hummingbirds have a vision that is more close to the ultraviolet range which helps them to see fast-moving objects.

Even if you are slow, steady, and gentle with your movements they will find it difficult to focus on it so try being as slow as possible.

Remove the Other Feeders 

Getting a hummingbird to land on your hand can be difficult since they are used to seeing the feeder and not humans. Therefore, it will become easier if you remove the other feeders from their sight.

This way they won’t have anything else to focus on except you. However, this is just a temporary solution so don’t expect them to leave the feeder for a long period of time

Be Patient

While learning how to get a hummingbird to land on your hand, it’s very important to be patient.

Hummingbirds are not aggressive birds so they won’t always come close to you or try to land on your hand. So just wait for them patiently and let them approach you at their own pace.

Eventually, after spending some time with you, they will become comfortable enough to land on your hand even if you are not wearing red clothes or standing still.

Keep it Clean

To help keep your hummingbirds healthy and happy, make sure that their feeder is clean.

Bacteria can grow in the nectar easily which will result in some pretty big problems like molding or contamination.

So make sure to clean it with hot water letting it soak for at least half an hour before rinsing it thoroughly. Also, the feeder should be cleaned after every 3-4 days.

Hummingbird Feeding Best Practices

Two cute hummingbirds playing on hand

Here are some safety guidelines that you should keep in mind while feeding your hummingbirds.

Watch for Insects

If there are insects at the feeder and on the feeder, it’s important to get rid of them before providing food to your hummingbird.  Bees or wasps can attack a small bird quickly and injure or even kill them.

Also, you should always check for ants and spider webs near the feeder before getting a hummingbird to land on your hand.

Use Feeders with Red Colored Bottles

It’s important to use feeders that have red-colored bottles because it will help attract the hummingbirds more than usual.

As mentioned in the above section, hummingbirds are attracted to red objects so it’s best if you choose feeders with red-colored bottles.  This will also help them easily see your hand when you approach them with it near the feeder.  

Use Feeders with Large Ports

Hummingbirds have very tiny beaks and long tongues, which makes it difficult for them to access sugar water from regular-sized ports.

So it’s best that you use feeders with large ports if your goal is to get a hummingbird to land on your hand and drink the nectar.  

Add some Nectar Extenders 

Nectar extenders work by filling the feeder with nectar but they make sure that it doesn’t overflow.

It also makes it easier for you to clean up because all you have to do is replace the bottle without having to worry about sugar water spilling everywhere.  

However, some hummingbirds might not be attracted to this so you’ll have to check if your feeder has this feature or not before trying it out.

Use Feeders with Tubes 

Feeders with tubes make sure that the sugar water doesn’t overflow and that there is no leakage which will help keep your feeder clean.

However, this type of feeder can be expensive so if you are on a budget, you can opt for the bottle extenders.

Wipe Down Feeders Daily

Periodically cleaning your feeder is extremely important to ensure that you are not providing any harmful toxins or bacteria to your hummingbirds.

When wiping down your feeder, it’s best if you use warm soapy water along with a soft cloth and thoroughly wipe down the outside of the feeder.

Also, if you notice that there is a build-up on your feeder or any other foul odor then it’s very important to change out the sugar water and thoroughly wash the feeder with hot soapy water before using it again.

Safety Tips to Follow When Dealing with Hummingbirds

A hummingbird sitting on hand

There are some safety tips to follow whenever you are interacting with any kind of wild animal or bird. You should always keep in mind that they are not pets and will usually attack you whenever they feel threatened.

Make sure there are no pets or young children around during the whole process. It is because they will easily scare the small birds.

Never ever touch a hummingbird’s head or feather no matter how much you want it. It is because they are very delicate birds and you can easily hurt them.

Final Words

I have explained the best and the easiest method of how to get a hummingbird to land on your hand.

I hope after following my guide you will be able to make friendship with hummingbirds and actually get them to sit on your hand while eating nectar from the feeder.

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