hummingbird as a pet?

Discussion in 'Softbill Circle' started by coral, 10/17/11.

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  1. coral
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    coral Walking the driveway

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    can you keep a hummingbird as a pet? where can you buy them? what do you feed them? do they play? im not planning on getting one as a pet im just curious about them :)
  2. copswife30
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    copswife30 Rollerblading along the road

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    I have never heard of anyone having a humming bird as a pet. They are very active little birdies and I would not ever think of keeping one in a cage.
    Hummingbirds must eat more than their weight in food each day, and they fulfill this need by eating often.
    Just my 2 cents :confused:
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  3. ronsig
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    ronsig Rollerblading along the road

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    No, you cannot keep hummingbirds as a pet. They are wild birds and only licenced hummingbird rehabbers can have them.
    I love hummingbirds too.
    There are lots of opportunities to enjoy them in the wild In Ohio, you have the Lake Hope State Park Feeding Program.
    Here is my video:
    Hummingbirds at Lake Hope State Park Ohio - YouTube
    Unfortunately, we only have them here in the Summer.

    Sigrid
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  4. rikkitikki
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    rikkitikki Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    I don't know that it's legal to keep them as a pet.
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  5. ronsig
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    ronsig Rollerblading along the road

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    An excellent way to observe hummingbirds is with one of the live webcams.
    My favourite is Phoebe, a hummingbird in California. She should start raising babies this month, and it will be broadcast live:
    Phoebe Allens WebCam
    It is really exciting to see her lay eggs, sit on them and then watch the babies grow.

    Sigrid
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  6. ThatDarnBird
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    ThatDarnBird Rollerblading along the road

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    I would never support hummingbirds as pets. Their hearts/system is so specialized due to the constant, rapid movement that I would think any interference would seriously put their health at risk. :( I would much rather experience the joy of coming across one of these little beauties unexpectedly in the wild. They always make your day better.
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  7. patdbunny
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    patdbunny Walking the driveway

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  8. coral
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    coral Walking the driveway

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  9. ronsig
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    ronsig Rollerblading along the road

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    The video is amazing. I guess, to rescue a hummingbird like that, you technically need a licence.:) I don't know the law everywhere, but where I live, you can't keep a wild bird even to raise it to release it.
    Sigrid
  10. coral
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    coral Walking the driveway

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    ive raised wild animals where i live i have no clue if its illegal but ill keep doing it if it helps the animal:)
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  11. Conurechicken
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    Conurechicken Walking the driveway

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    They are migratory species and as such are illegal to keep as pets.
  12. SandraK
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    I grew up in S. America and my family lived in Montevideo, Uruguay in the '60's. The house we were in, like most in S. America, had maid's quarters at the bottom of the garden (we didn't have a live-in maid). The whole back garden was walled in and painted white. One year we'd travel to Brazil to visit my grandparents and the next they'd come to visit us.

    One year they were visiting, my mother found a hummingbird that apparently had been blinded by the sunlight on the wall, had flown into it and had a badly bunged up eye not to mention it was dazed and in shock. My grandfather, Papa, grew up on a farm in Dumfries, Scotland, and was always a critter person no matter what.

    So a perch was rigged in the empty maid's room and it was kept dark so that the little bird wouldn't become agitated and injure itself further. As far as I know, Papa fed it sugar water from the tip of his finger and we weren't allowed to handle it. Once his eye had healed and he started showing signs of wanting to fly around more and more, he was eventually released into the garden again.

    For a while after that, my mother would tell me that early in the morningswhen she went outside to feed our dog, David, there'd be a little hummingbird resting on the stone courtyard off the veranda almost as if it were waiting for someone. Many of the details are a little foggy now since that was well over 40 years ago but that's as close as "having" a hummingbird as a pet I suppose. Fond memories of a happy time in our lives. :heart:
  13. ronsig
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    ronsig Rollerblading along the road

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    It might be different everywhere. And there are not enough licenced rehabbers available.;)

    Sigrid
  14. turacan
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    turacan Meeting neighbors

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    Some people ( very rarely ) do have and breed bumming birds and sunbirds , which are quite similar. they are very expensive an go for around 1000 pounds for just 1 that's about 1565 dollars.I live in the uk and found adds on uk based websites.by the way the birds are only to be kept in a aviary measuring 10ft x 10 ft x 15ft or bigger , as they are very active . Also would be very rare to come across someone selling these birds
  15. emeraldtoucan
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    The legality of it depends on location, and species. As far as I recall non-native ones aren't on any sort of federal prohibition within the US. The trade of any non-natives that are endangered will be impacted by CITES, but not necessarily to the point of making those endangered non-natives illegal to keep (I'm not too familiar with all the intricacies of CITES, but I believe it is more about international trade, and the trade of wild caught birds than anything, there are many endangered species which are legal to keep without any sort of license at least if domestic bred).

    I imagine hummingbirds would be very high maintenance pets, but certainly not impossible to keep (Zoos do it and with the right resources anyone can give their birds a similar habitat, and I know aviculturalists that keep their birds in some pretty impressive enclosures and take excellent care of them). Like any softbill very thoroughly researching their needs would be very important.
    Last edited: 10/21/11
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  16. Twitter09
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    Twitter09 Strolling the yard

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    Hummingbirds in captivity require a complex diet - food that must be prepared fresh daily with the right balance of sugars and proteins - and even with that, they rarely live long in captivity - so they are not an easy pet. In the wild, we can feed them just sugar water in feeders because they also catch and eat lots of soft-bodied insects on their own, as well as probably miscellaneous stuff like pollen. Their real, complete diet is hard to duplicate in captivity.

    So if you see hummingbirds in zoos, you will probably notice that the food in the feeders is not clear sugar water but rather a milky-looking mixture that attempts to provide them with a more complete diet.

    Hummingbirds are also extremely territorial and it is difficult to keep more than one in an enclosure, for very long, because they fight and stress out. All that stress and fighting tends to shorten their lifespan in captivity. A lot of zoos tried big hummingbird aviaries in the past, with lots of hummingbirds together, but now they tend to keep just a few in large mixed bird aviaries with lots of vegetation where they don't fight as much.

    Here is a list of zoos with hummingbirds:
    US Zoos with Live Hummingbird Exhibits

    And here are the comments from 4 zookeepers that have kept hummingbirds:
    Four Hummingbird Zookeepers Interviewed

    There is a great and informative Hummingbird Forum out there for people that enjoy wild hummingbirds and hummingbird gardening (I am sometimes on there as "RonDEZone7a"):
    The Hummingbird Forum
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  17. coral
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    coral Walking the driveway

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    we dont really see hummingbirds where i live, but i try to avoid attracting birds to my yard because my cat goes outside. thanks for all the info guys :) just to make it clear though im not ever actually going to get a hummingbird unless one is hurt and i find it :lol:i think they belong in the wild
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