What Do Hummingbirds Like
To Nest In?

By Richard Worden

Hummingbirds are extremely important to the ecosystem and are a favorite of many birdwatchers. If you're a fan of our feathered friends, you might wonder what do hummingbirds like to nest in. As it turns out, there are various options that will make these little birds feel right at home.

Hummingbirds like to nest in sheltered trees and specially made nests. The female builds the nest from plant materials, such as leaves and moss, for the foundations and spider webbing for the exterior. The final product is usually cup-shaped and protects the eggs and young chicks.

Hummingbirds will nest in many places, but the common theme is that they won’t nest in enclosed spaces like birdhouses and tree cavities. If you’re interested in learning more about where they actually nest and how to attract a few hummingbirds to your yard, keep reading!

What do Hummingbirds like to nest in

5 Hummingbird-Approved Nesting Sites

Hummingbirds don’t build nests just anywhere. The location has to be right and fulfill specific habitat requirements like shelter, safety, and proximity to food sources.

Here are 5 of the most common hummingbird nesting sites:

  • Trees: Hummingbirds typically nest in trees as they provide plenty of coverage and protection from predators. If you have any trees on your property, keep an eye out for nests— you might just get a front-row seat to some bird-watching action!
  • Shrubs: These make great nesting sites for hummingbirds because they offer cover and food (in the form of nectar-rich flowers).
  • Porches: Another excellent option for hummingbird nesting sites, as they provide both shelter and a good view of potential predators.
  • Window boxes: These are ideal for hummingbirds because they offer protection from the elements and easy access to nectar-rich flowers.
  • Gourds: They make extraordinary homes for hummingbirds because they naturally have a hole in them (which makes it easy for them to enter), and they're large enough to house a family of hummers.

How Hummingbirds Build Their Nests

Have you ever wondered how hummingbirds manage to build their nests? After all, these tiny birds weigh less than an ounce (28.35 g)  and have small beaks that can barely hold a twig. So how do they do it?

It all starts with a firm foundation. Hummingbirds collect bits of bark, leaves, and grasses, which are then shaped into a small cup.

Once the foundation is complete, the hummingbird will begin to add softer materials like mosses and lichens. 

These materials help to insulate the nest and keep the eggs warm. Finally, the hummingbird will line the nest with spider silk.

While spider silk is usually one of the last additions, it is quite important as it provides elasticity which is important for when any eggs hatch. It also provides support, acting as a binder that keeps the nest together.

Watch this incredible timelapse of a hummingbird building a nest:

How To Attract Hummingbirds To Your Backyard

As tiny and cute as hummingbirds are, they can be quite wary and territorial. That said, provided you can  make them welcome and fulfill some of the following, you’ll attract them to your backyard quite easily:

  • Fill your feeders with nectar. Store-bought nectar is fine, but you can also make your own by mixing four water parts with one sugar. Boil the mixture for a few minutes to help keep it from molding, and be sure to clean the feeders often to prevent the spread of disease.

    Learn More...This indepth article of ours covers the topic of what do Hummingbirds like to drink.

  • Plant flowers that hummingbirds love. Some favorites include bee balm, trumpet vine, and cardinal flower. In addition to providing nectar, these plants also provide perches for resting and nesting.

  • Make your yard safe for hummingbirds. Avoid using pesticides, as they can be harmful to these delicate creatures. In addition, try to keep your cats indoors, as they can be a threat to hummers.

  • Provide water for drinking and bathing. A small birdbath or even a hose drip can attract hummingbirds looking for a drink or a quick dip. Just be sure to keep the water clean and fresh.

    Learn More...We've written an article here that makes specific recommendations of birdbaths Hummingbirds love.

  • Set up a nesting site. If you provide a safe place for hummingbirds to nest, they may make your yard their home. A basket filled with pine needles or Spanish moss makes an ideal nesting material. Placing it in a sheltered spot will protect them from the elements.

  • Be patient! Attracting hummingbirds takes time and patience, but it's definitely worth the effort. By following these tips, you'll soon be enjoying the beauty and grace of these amazing creatures in your backyard!

Can I Attract Hummingbirds With a Birdhouse?

If you've ever put up a hummingbird feeder, you probably know that these tiny birds are some of the most acrobatic in the avian world. They can hover in place, fly backward, and even mate mid-air. So it's no surprise that they build their nests with the same level of precision and skill, as seen in this video:

In addition, these nests are so strong that they can even withstand heavy rains and strong winds.

So why would a hummingbird ever use a manufactured birdhouse? The answer is simple — they wouldn't. 

Hummingbirds have evolved over many years to build the perfect nest for their needs, and there is simply no way that a manufactured birdhouse could compete with their handiwork. Unlike many other birds, hummingbirds are not “cavity nesters”. This means they generally prefer open nests like theirs to enclosures like tree cavities and birdhouses.

Do Hummingbirds Reuse Their Nests?

One thing hummingbird enthusiasts often wonder the most about is whether these little birds reuse their nests or build new ones every year. The answer, it turns out, is a bit of both. 

Some hummingbird species will create a new nest each year, while others will repair their existing nest. However, it's also not uncommon for hummingbirds to simply abandon their old nest in favor of a new one.

What Do Hummingbirds Like to Nest In?

Now that you know what kind of nesting sites Hummingbirds prefer, you can start attracting them To your yard with ease! From nesting sites to food and drink choices, follow our tips for making your garden hummingbird friendly. And if you want to go all out, consider adding a hummingbird feeder – they'll love you!

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About Me

About the Author...

Richard Worden, a dedicated bird lover for over 20 years, I love to share my in-depth knowledge and passion for birds. Read more About Me and my expertise in this field.

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