A Baby Hummingbird is very tiny in size, with no feathers. It has characteristic straw-like strands on the back. A very young hummingbird baby is usually black in color, with a short, yellow beak and eyes closed.
If a baby hummingbird has feathers, it is best to leave it alone as it is almost the time for it to leave the nest. Even if it falls out of the nest, the mother will still continue to feed it.
Caring for Baby Hummingbirds:
It is important to establish whether the Hummingbird you have found is actually abandoned or not! When the baby is 10-12 days old, it does not need much attention from its mother- except for feeding, of course!
As the baby grows, the mother hummingbird spends time away from the nest, to avoid attention from predators. If the mother does not return for 1-2 hours, it is likely that the babies are abandoned and need care.
The Wildlife Rescue Organization must be contacted immediately if the baby is injured, covered with ants or has fallen from a nest.
Keep The Baby Warm:
– Baby hummingbirds need special care as they cannot regulate their body temperature.
– If a baby hummingbird has fallen from its nest, it should be gently picked up and placed back. Unlike some baby mammals which are abandoned by their parents if they’re touched by humans, hummingbirds still continue to care for their little ones. This is because hummingbirds have no sense of smell.
– If no nest is to be found, an egg carton lined with a tissue paper can be used as a nest substitute. Cloth or cotton ball usage must be avoided to prevent entangling of the baby’s feet!
– The external temperature of the baby hummingbird should be around 85 degrees. So, the egg carton can be placed next to a lamp. If the baby stretches its neck frequently or breathes with the mouth, it should be moved away to prevent over-heating.
– The temperature of the baby hummingbird should neither get too hot nor too cold!
Feeding the Baby Hummingbird:
See also: How to Feed Baby Hummingbirds (article by Hummingbirds Plus)
– A baby hummingbird must be fed once in every 20-30 minutes. 4 hours of no food may lead to its death.
– If the baby opens its mouth readily, 3-4 drops of sugared water can be fed to it with a dropper. This can be prepared by mixing 1 part sugar in 4 parts water. Do NOT use honey.
– Moreover, the feeder must be changed once every 2-3 days, to avoid bacterial growth.
– If the bird is in your care for more than 24 hours, it should be fed more substantial food. A diet of sugared water for too long has no nutritional value, and can lead to nutritional deficiencies, deformities, and even death! This is especially true for abandoned or orphaned baby hummingbirds.
Recipe for Hummingbird Food:
– 1 Cup Water
– 1/4 Cup White Granulated Sugar
– 10 mealworms’ insides
– 1/2 tablespoon Esbilac
– 1/2 tablespoon Mockingbird Food
– Vet-Nutri (a pinch)
Recommended glass feeder : http://www.hummingbirdsplus.org/feeders/glass/
Method: Blend all the above-listed ingredients in a food processor.
Instructions for Feeding: Feed the blended mixture to the hummingbird once every 30 minutes using a dropper.
Temporary care of a baby hummingbird can prove to be a lifesaver. But, in the long term, it is quite possible to end up hurting the baby even though our intentions are directed towards helping it. Hence, it is best to involve a Veterinarian or a Wildlife Expert for caring for baby hummingbirds!