Can you Eat Hummingbirds or its Eggs?
It's A $200,000 Fine

If you are eager to know whether hummingbirds or their eggs can be consumed by humans, read ahead to find out.

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Iñigo Navarro

May 23, 2021


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What’s This Post About?

Hummingbirds are pretty little creatures that add a dash of wonder to the environment. You can attract them to your backyard by placing a hummingbird feeder for them. They have incredible flight capabilities and sharp eyesight which helps them escape danger with ease.

The female hummingbirds are responsible for building a nest. The fact about hummingbirds is that they only tend to lay two eggs per nest. The size of a hummingbird’s egg is similar to the size of a coffee bean. They are tiny and cannot serve as a proper meal to human beings.

Humans cannot eat hummingbirds or their eggs. They can watch and observe them but capturing hummingbirds and treating them as a source of food is deemed unlawful by the US government. Killing a hummingbird is illegal and consequences include 6 months of imprisonment or a fine ranging from $15,000 to $200,000.

Laws about Well-being of Hummingbirds

Can you eat hummingbirds and their eggs? Here is what the law states!

a beautiful hummingbird

Rules and regulations are made regarding the killing and consumption of hummingbirds in the United States. According to the law, it is illegal for a human to hold or capture a hummingbird, a hummingbird egg, a hummingbird baby, or a hummingbird nest.

If you do not have a valid permit issued, which allows you to capture, hold or possess a hummingbird then you will have to face consequences. Hence, you can look, observe, and click pictures of hummingbirds but you cannot hurt them.

In the United States, the ‘Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918’ is followed. Under this act, capture or possession of any migratory bird is prohibited, and that these migratory birds are protected under the ‘United States Code of Federal Regulations.

Hummingbirds are also listed as migratory birds under the United States Code of Federal Regulation. To be precise this statement is backed up at Title 50, Chapter 1, Part 10, and Sub-part 13 - List of Migratory Birds. The Citation Number mentioned is 50CRF10.13.

If any human being is caught violating the law, they will have to face strict penalties. The hummingbird, if captured, will be taken away from them and a fine will be charged. The fine will be between $15,000 to $200,000.

If you belong to a country outside the US, you may want to look up the laws and regulations that are followed by the local government present there.

Look upon additional resources or directly contact a representative of the government to see if any rules regarding the killing and eating of hummingbirds are being followed.

Pro-Tip

If you are interested in getting a permit card issued to take care of hummingbirds, you can reach out to the regional permit office of the ‘United States Fish and Wildlife Service’. Once you register, you will have to choose the type of permit you are applying for then pay the fee accordingly.

Are Humans A Threat to Hummingbirds or Its Eggs?

Humans may not be allowed to eat hummingbirds, but the birds may face natural and man-made threats which may contribute towards their extinction.

Hummingbirds are surrounded by many threats which may contribute to the reason for them going extinct in the future. These threats don’t include humans

What Threats do Hummingbirds Face?

A few of the threats for their well-being and future reproduction through eggs include:

  • A constant lookout for predators while perching.

  • Diminishing of natural habitat due to urbanization.

  • Weather changes may threaten their migration and cause uncertainty in food availability.

Let’s explore these in detail.

1. Climate Change is Troubling Them

climate change barren land

Humans have contributed massively towards global warming. Many scientists have claimed that warm temperatures have changed the phenology of nutritious nectar-filled plants, especially at high latitudes. This has drastically affected the breeding pattern of the hummingbirds.

Additionally, rapid modifications of the natural lands have led to changes in the sea levels. This may disrupt the habitats of those hummingbird species that survive on only sea levels.

Pro-Tip

Projects and sessions can be conducted to spread awareness about what actions humans can avoid which are affecting the climate.

2. Loss of Habitat

a green plant Hummingbirds just like most animals adapt to a particular space or environment. They tend to rely on the same old food sources and areas for a long time.

As we are moving towards industrialization, the native habitats of hummingbirds are at risk. The habitats are being replaced with cities, bridges, parking lots, etc.

You can help preserve the environment by afforestation, where you can purchase seeds and plant native trees, shrubs, and flowers that can replicate the hummingbird’s original habitat.

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3. Predators

a hummingbird predator

Hummingbirds face threats from many other big animals such as owls, orioles, crows, and grackles. However, if we talk about how we as humans contribute to the danger of predators for the hummingbirds, we can discuss pets.

Humans keep pets such as cats. The cats which may be freely roaming around in your backyard may attack the hummingbird feeder at some instance. This may serve as a danger to those hummingbirds that visit your backyard and rely on your feeder as a source of food.

Pro-Tip

Hang your hummingbird feeders at a height where animals such as cats or squirrels cannot reach!

Keep Reading!

The information conveyed through this post sheds light upon how humans cannot eat hummingbirds or their eggs. The United States has strict laws in place which, if violated, may lead to serious consequences of jail time and a fine of up to $200,000.

Keeping in mind the penalties, you may want to avoid indulging in acts like these. Moreover, if not eating or trapping, there are other ways how human activities can negatively affect the hummingbirds. You know how global warming negatively impacts them!

If you are interested to read more about hummingbirds and their nests then read our post.

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.

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By Iñigo Navarro

Bird Watching USA

My name is Inigo 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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Iñigo Navarro Picture

Iñigo Navarro

Bird Watching USA

My name is Inigo 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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