About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
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Friday, August 26, 2011

Hummingbird Information on Habitat and Habits

Do hummers reuse nests? I know where an old nest is and I'd like to keep it if they're done using it. Todd in Owosso, MI

Attleson Farm: Hummingbird NestHummingbird nests are fascinating. Female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds alone construct cup shaped nests with a diameter about the same size as a quarter. They start to build with bud scales and spiderwebs and then camouflage the outside with lichen. To cushion the inside of the nest they use cotton or some other plant fluff like dandelions.

Some hummingbirds do fix up their old nest and reuse it. So I would just leave the nest you found alone but check it next spring to see if you are lucky enough to have the hummer return.

Also many people do not know that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act does make it illegal to collect nests of any native bird without a permit.

2 comments:

D M Kaczmar said...

I didn't know it was illegal to collect nests (although I hadn't really thought about it before either). What about abandoned nests? Or fallen nests?

Wild Birds Unlimited Mid-Michigan said...

Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918(MBTA) was created during a time when people collected eggs, feathers, and nests for fashion or mounted collections. Conservationists came together to protect the harrassed birds from extinction.

The MBTA specifically protects migratory bird nests from possession, sale, purchase, barter,
transport, import, and export.

Abandoned or fallen nests can be disposed of properly but I wouldn't collect it.

Narrow exceptions to the act, known as the eagle feather law, which regulates the taking, possession, and transportation of bald eagles, golden eagles, and their "parts, nests, and eggs" for "scientific, educational, and depredation control purposes; for the religious purposes of American Indian tribes; and to protect other interests in a particular locality." Enrolled members of federally recognized tribes may apply for an eagle permit for use in "bona fide tribal religious ceremonies."