How To Find A Hummingbird Nest in 3 Easy Ways

Are you looking to invite beautiful hummingbirds to your backyard? Here’s how to find a hummingbird nest in three easy ways.

There are over 330 species of hummingbirds worldwide, and the US is home to about seventeen of these. All of these species have different nesting habits. 

All hummingbirds build nests and care for their little ones. But where they choose to nest varies from species to species. 

This article will discuss hummingbird nests and mainly focus on where they build their nests.


How To Find A Hummingbird Nest in 3 Easy Ways


Where Can You Find Hummingbird Nests? 

Hummingbirds generally build their nests in locations where they can prevent predators and remain sheltered from natural elements such as rain, sun, and wind. 

Thickly wooded areas

Thickly wooded areas or areas with thorny bushes are perfect examples of places like this. In these wooded areas, hummingbirds build their nests on forks of tree branches. 

For example, the ruby-throated hummingbirds nest on slightly sloping branches of a tree or large shrub. Unlike woodpeckers, hummingbirds do not use tree cavities as their nesting sites. 

Hummingbirds may build their nests as low as 5 to 10 feet above the ground, but this is not always the case.

When there are a lot of tall trees, the birds may choose a nesting site at the height of 60 to 90 feet. 


How To Find A Hummingbird Nest in 3 Easy Ways


Urban Areas

Hummingbird species living in urban areas do not build nests on dense greens. They build their nests on the top of lamp posts, statues, eaves of houses, or any other place that suits the bill. 

Blue-throated hummingbirds build their nests on electric wires, and broad-billed hummingbirds build their nests on clotheslines. 

When building a nest, female hummingbirds will look for a perch that is strong enough to support her as well as her babies. But since hummingbirds are so small, they can build a nest almost anywhere.

What Do They Make Their Nest With? 

Hummingbirds commonly use leaves, spider silk, feathers, cotton fibers, bits and pieces of bark, moss, lichen, and plant down such as cattails, thistle, or dandelion for nesting. 

They weave these materials together into a cup-shaped structure. They then cover the outer structure with moss, lichen, and other such materials that help suitably camouflage the nest. 

Ruby-throated hummingbirds build their nest in the form of a compact cup and use plant fibers, spider webs, and grass lined with thistle or dandelion down.


How To Find A Hummingbird Nest in 3 Easy Ways


How to Find a Nest?

Spotting hummingbird nests is difficult. One can spot their nests with sharp, keen eyes, ears, and patience. Here are a few ways to find a hummingbird nest. 

Hummingbirds need flowers, perches, insects, and water for nourishment.

Hence, you can place sources of nectar like bird-friendly native flowering plants, vines, shrubs, trees, natural foods, and water in your garden.

Then when you attract a few hummingbirds, observe closely where they return after feeding during the breeding season. 

Furthermore, hummingbirds prefer pesticide-free yards and long bird-friendly corridors.

Families can team up with their neighbors to make the green spaces in their homes bird-friendly to help maintain a continuous corridor. 

You can find pre-made hummingbird-specific nesting kits. These go a long way in helping the bird build its nest.

You can place these in your garden and then observe as the hummingbirds pick out materials to build their nests. Moreover, this will encourage the bird to choose a site close by as their nesting site. 


How To Find A Hummingbird Nest in 3 Easy Ways


Facts About Hummingbird Nests 

Hummingbird nests are tiny architectural wonders. They have a bowl-like shape and are made solely by female hummingbirds. 

How Big Are Their Nests? 

Hummingbirds are the smallest of all birds. Hence, the nests they build are compact, too. Put simply, they are about the size of navy beans: about 1 inch in diameter. Nest size also varies with species; larger hummingbirds build bigger nests.

When do they nest? 

Nesting in hummingbirds varies from location to location. Hummingbirds build nests and lay eggs, most commonly between March and July. In colder regions, they will start breeding later (such as in July), whereas, in the southern parts of America, hummingbirds begin to breed as early as March. 

Is it ok to touch their nests? 

You should never touch hummingbird nests. When a human touches a hummingbird’s nest, a predator can notice it. 

Going close to the bird’s nest will reveal the otherwise hidden location of the bird’s nest and pose a danger for the mother hummingbird and her hummingbird eggs.


How To Find A Hummingbird Nest in 3 Easy Ways


Do they reuse their nests? 

Yes, hummingbirds reuse their nests. Some of these birds may use the same nest and add to it seasonally.

Anna’s hummingbirds may recycle the materials from their previous nest and build their new nest close to the old one. 

However, nests made of sticks and spiderwebs are fragile and are not generally in a condition to be used again.

Moreover, hummingbird nests tend to stretch out once the babies come out of the eggs, so after a time, they become unusable.


Frequently Asked Questions 

What time of year do hummingbirds make their nests?

Hummingbird species such as Anna’s hummingbirds begin nesting with the first winter rains in November. However, most hummingbirds nest between March and July 

Is it rare to see a hummingbird nest?

Hummingbirds built their nests in hidden locations among dense trees, leaves, or lamposts, under the eaves(in urban areas) to stay protected from predators and natural forces. 
Hence, hummingbird nests are difficult to spot from the ground. Also, they are tiny and almost look like little bumps on tree branches. 

Where is the best place to hang a hummingbird nest?

Under the eaves is one of the best places to hang a hummingbird nest, considering it will save the bird from the threat of predators and also offer protection from wind, air, storms, and sunlight.   


How To Find A Hummingbird Nest in 3 Easy Ways


In the End

Hummingbird nests are tiny, and spotting them is difficult.

The birds usually nest at sites where they can be safe from predators and natural forces.

You need a keen eye, sharp ears, and a good amount of time to spot hummingbird nests in dense greens. 

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.


  1. Hello Gordon,
    I live in England and, with my husband Glenn, I encourage songbirds into the garden. A few yrs ago we had a male Blackbird as a regular visitor. It was unusual and had behaviour which showed reasoning, forward planning and risk- taking for its own benefit (for food). I’d like to email you with more details. What is your email address, please?
    Best wishes, Sue

    1. Hi Sue. You can reach out to us at contact[at] Please replace [at] with @. Thanks for getting in touch!

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