Can A Hummingbird Kill?
Are They So Dangerous?

Hummingbirds are harmless creatures unless they are in a threatening environment. You can trigger a violent reaction from them if you're not careful.

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David A. Swanson

May 23, 2021

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What’s This Post About?

This post will analyze and explain the behavior of hummingbirds. You will get a clear idea of why these birds react oddly depending on certain circumstances.

When they are in the air and flying, they pose no threat to humans. But in some instances hummingbirds have to act violently to protect themselves from threats like humans.

Hummingbirds cannot kill but they can cause harm. Although hummingbirds are not aggressive and dangerous birds by nature, they do have the potential of causing you harm. If they feel like their territory or a young one is under threat, they will be sure to protect it even if it means attacking someone.

a flying hummingbird

Are Hummingbirds Dangerous?

Hummingbirds are small birds but they shouldn’t be underestimated because of their size. If they want, they can hurt you.

Hummingbirds don’t usually attack humans. The only time they may attack is when they are feeling threatened. You need to ensure that neither their territory nor their young ones are at any perceived risk:

What Makes a Hummingbird Feel Threatened?

Here are the reasons why a hummingbird feels threatened:

1. If Their Territory Is Being Threatened

Hummingbirds are territorial creatures who don’t like sharing their space. They need their area and an abundant food supply otherwise they may become dangerous for you and the other birds in your backyard.

If their bird feeder is too overcrowded then this could cause a violent reaction from them. This is because they may feel like they are under threat.

multiple birds on a feeder

2. If They Feel Like Their Young Is Unsafe

Female hummingbirds are particularly protective of their young ones. This is because the male hummingbirds leave and the females have to become the caretaker. They become alert every time anyone is near their nest.

They feel like their young is unsafe, and they do everything necessary to ensure that they remain protected and this may include attacking the bird or person who poses a threat.

If they see a predator or other birds hovering over their nest, they will be sure to let them know that they are looking over their young and have not left them without protection.

a baby hummingbird

How Can I Prevent a Hummingbird from Getting Aggressive?

To prevent a hummingbird from getting aggressive, space out the feeders and consistently fill them with food. Also try to stay away from a hummingbird’s nest.

If a hummingbird is getting aggressive, it is most likely because of the reasons stated earlier. Nevertheless, these problems can be easily solved and are nothing to be too worried about.

If this aggression is the result of territorial threats, then you can space out the feeders. This way there won’t be a lot of crowding and the hummingbirds won’t feel as if their territory is being threatened.

This will prevent them from attacking other birds just so that they have a safe space where they can eat. The birds will feel comfortable when they’re eating and this will help them trust you.

It is also very important to make sure that you consistently fill the feeders with food because that is the main supply of food that they are relying on, so if a shortage occurs it may lead to an aggressive response.


By putting up feeders for hummingbirds, you make these birds dependent on you so it is imperative that you responsibly fill them up.

Increasing the number of bird feeders in your backyard is also a very good idea. This way more birds will come to your feeder, and they will all have ample space. You can create a whole large station which will also go beautifully with the aesthetics and make your yard stand out.

multiple hummingbird feeders

Moreover, you need to be careful about hummingbird nests. If you know that there is a nest somewhere near your house, you should be very mindful of how close you get to it. Going too close could potentially scare the bird and make them aggressive.

If you want to learn more about hummingbird nests and find them fascinating, consider reading this amazing post about hummingbird nests!

Everything About Hummingbird Nests - Impressive Facts to Know All in One Post

Have you been looking for everything on hummingbird nests? Well, we’ve got you covered. Here is a compilation of this bird’s nesting habits.

Are Hummingbirds Intelligent?

Hummingbirds visit multiple flowers each day but they manage to remember them all.

A hummingbird’s hippocampus is five times larger than a songbird’s, meaning, hummingbirds have more capacity to store information. They can learn and remember people, places, and patterns.

This strong memory helps them remember their sources of food extremely accurately which is beneficial for them because that way they can keep up with their large appetites.

Their memory is so precise that they can recall their feeding sites in excruciating detail. They even remember all the flowers that they interact with. Isn’t this amazing? Especially considering that they visit about 1000 to 2000 flowers daily, it totally is!. They even know how long it will take flowers until they can give them nectar again.

They even migrate from north to south depending on their food source. This is pretty easy for them as they remember where to go whenever they need food.

Their large mental capacity is also why hummingbirds are so inquisitive and curious which might often be mistaken as violent behavior. They remember everything around them and feel the need to investigate anomalies. They want to know what is different in their environment and if it is a threat to them or not.

Why Is a Hummingbird Flying Close to My Face?

Hummingbirds are very inquisitive and cautious about their surroundings. They tend to remember their territories and even the homeowner who gives them food in the bird feeder. They can recognize whenever something is out of place or different, and they investigate it.

Their extensive memory gives them the opportunity of knowing their surroundings and always being aware of any difference. Hummingbirds like to be careful about the environment they are in. Hence, they may fly close to your face and go near anything new just to be sure it is safe.

Their intention isn’t to harm, but to explore.

How Can I Hand Feed Hummingbirds?

Hand-feeding birds is an amazing experience because you get to see them up-close in their natural environment.

To hand feed a hummingbird you have to wait for them to be comfortable in the garden. Once their trust is earned, place some food in your hand and step in the garden when the birds are there. They will eat it themselves.

To feed hummingbirds, it is firstly very important to get them to come to your garden. You need to be able to attract them there. If there are no hummingbirds, to begin with then you won’t be able to feed them.

You need to know when they will come and what the best season for them is so that you can cater to the maximum number of birds. Secondly, you need to gather enough information about their schedules and patterns. Such as knowing where in the backyard they prefer eating or what is the ideal time for them.

They mostly eat in the early mornings or at nighttime. However, you can also pick out a time in the day when you feel like that your backyard is full of hummingbirds. Earning their trust is the hardest step.

It requires quite a lot of patience and you need to be willing to put in the time and effort for the hummingbirds to warm up to you. You need to be able to make them feel comfortable enough that they come to you and eat from your hand.

a hummingbird on a human palm

Usually, they are very curious so coming to your hand to discover what is happening shouldn’t be all too difficult.

Tips To Attract and Maintain Hummingbirds

  • Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red. Placing a red bird feeder or feed can serve as an attraction for them.

  • Be sure to put a birdbath in your yard because hummingbirds like water. They will rub themselves against leaves after rainfall and won’t stop until every last leaf is dry.

  • Do not stroke the hummingbirds when they are eating from your hand. This is because that will scare them, and they might not come back after that. You need to be patient and make sure that your birds feel safe.

  • Make sure any loud children or predators are away. Predators scare hummingbirds away, and they feel at threat when they’re around.

Key Takeaways

Hummingbirds are quite harmless creatures unless they are threatened. They are mostly just protecting themselves, their territories, and their young. Hence, you can easily avoid these situations and won’t have a problem with any of them.

You can even help them feel more secure by maintaining a consistent supply of food as they might be relying on you to keep your feeders heaped. Moreover, you can avoid going near their nests where their eggs are laid. That way they will not feel unsafe.

Hummingbirds are good-natured and they avoid conflict. You can even feed them from the palm of your hand. You just need to learn to patiently wait until you have won over their trust and then you can feed them anything without the help of a bird feeder.

It will require some effort on your part to gather information about their schedule and patterns but eventually, it will be worth it as you will be able to see the hummingbirds close up.

Keep Reading!

After reading this post, you should be able to correctly diagnose the root problem of an aggressive hummingbird. You shouldn’t fear these birds coming to your bird feeder. They will remain mild with you as long as you keep them well-fed and don’t threaten them in any way.

After taking all the necessary precautions, you can easily feed them from the palm of your hand and watch them closely. If this doesn’t work out, you can explore feeders, and to get the best one for your backyard, read our post on the best feeders for hummingbirds.

Best Bird Feeders for Hummingbirds: The 13 Top Rated Feeders

Are you a hummingbird lover? Make this adorable little bird visit your garden by adding one of these top-rated feeders to your backyard.

David A. Swanson Picture

By David A. Swanson

Bird Watching USA

My name is David and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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David A. Swanson Picture

David A. Swanson

Bird Watching USA

My name is David and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!



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