How Long Do Baby Hummingbirds Stay in the Nest?

Hummingbirds mate from December to February. After returning to the US and Canada in late March, the ruby-throated hummingbird mates alone.   

Hummingbird males do spectacular aerial displays to win over females during courtship. After mating, males and females usually part ways. Once the nest is built, the female hummingbird takes care of the eggs and young.  

Females spend a week building their tiny, cup-shaped nests. Soft grass, cattail fluff, and leaf shreds joined together with spider webbing form their nests.  

The nest is lined with bird feathers, dandelion, cotton seeds, and other soft plant material to cushion the eggs. To hide from predators, the nests' exteriors are covered in moss and lichen.  

Hummingbird chicks open their eyes and acquire feathers 16 days after birth. Now termed ‘fledglings’, they learn to fly and feed themselves. After learning to fly, the chicks stay with their mother for seven days.  

Hummingbird chicks leave their nests around a month old. Some tropical hummingbirds stay in their nests for two months before flying. Most are ready to migrate south and live alone by early fall.  

Most wild hummingbirds live three to five years. These birds can live 13–14 years in captivity. Unfortunately, the US bans hummingbird captivity. These birds can only be kept in zoos and other authorized facilities.  

Even having a hummingbird nest or feathers is unlawful, so if you find a wounded hummer or a baby, take it to a wildlife rehabilitation facility or vet instead of treating it yourself.