how to get a hummingbird to land on your hand

How to Get a Hummingbird to Land on Your Hand: Read This First

Hummingbirds are tiny creatures, but the magic they inspire is enormous. These fluttering birds with their shimmering feathers are revered throughout many societies and traditional cultures. And to the everyday avid birder, they are creatures that entrance with their enchantments. But do you know how to get a hummingbird to land on your hand?

If you want to hand feed these birds, the trick lies in consistency. This is the case with most birds. But the hummingbird demands a little bit more patience and a slightly different approach. Combine the proper technique with perseverance and patience, and you’ll find how easy it is to hand-feed these little birds. 

Yep, these tiny, fluttering birds can also be hand-fed. Like with the other birds, consistency is key, but feeding them works just a bit differently.

Hand-feeding hummingbirds can be a magical, enchanting experience for any birder, and with patience and perseverance, it can be surprisingly easy to do.

How to Get a Hummingbird to Land on Your Hand: Getting Started

If you want the honor of a hummingbird landing on your hand, then the best place to start is with food. Use a feeder, perhaps one they are accustomed to seeing in your garden. Hold the feeder in your hand and let your finger act as a perch.

If you don’t have a feeder, you can use a small container. Place the container with the enticing hummingbird nectar in the center of your palm and hold your hand out. Using a small container might even be the better option. The hummingbird will be tempted to land on your hand instead of the feeder.

Top Tip: But, if they are wary, then opt for the feeder. Gradually work to a more personal level and get them comfortable with you holding the feeder first. Be sure to wear your favorite red-colored clothing. 

Important: Beware the Little Ones

A hummingbird rests on hand after flying into a window.

If you want to show your little ones the beauty of the hummingbird, then be aware that they might not have the patience. Toddlers might be too fidgety for the peace and quiet that is needed 

A few important notes: If you choose to make this a family activity, be wary of letting young ones try their hand at feeding birds; a fidgety toddler will have little success gaining the trust of a bird. Of course, keep cleanliness in mind: always wash your hands before and after handling wild birds.

And once you begin hand-feeding birds, be sure to act gently if you want them to come back. Ensure that they have the freedom to come and go as they please — and do not try to confine them.

Hummingbird Feeding Safety

While you may be excited by the hummingbird, please remember that the bird’s safety is of paramount importance. Young children shouldn’t try to handle hummingbirds. It is also a good idea to keep any pets indoors. 

Some Other Rules:

As much as you want to touch the hummingbird’s wings or head, please do not do it! They are delicate birds, and you can damage their feathers easily. Take care when handling the bird, as it takes a while to build up the trust. And it can be destroyed in a moment. 

There’s a few things to know if you want to get a hummingbird to land on your hand. 

Firstly, you’re going to have to get the hummingbirds to come to where you are first. Okay, if you are heading out into nature where you already know that they are around, you can skip this part. However, if you want to get them to your garden first, then here’s how:

1. Attract Hummingbirds to your Garden

There is a large variety of flowers hummingbirds are known to love. These plants not only attract these delicate birds, but they will brighten up your garden too. What’s more, the hummingbirds will find your garden a haven, but so will you. 

Top Tip: Plant your flowers strategically. You should plant the feeder and the right flowers in one spot. This technique helps to bring the hummingbirds in one concentrated area in your garden. The hummingbirds will learn to flock to one area and be more comfortable with you there.

2. Pay Attention

Hummingbird feeding from a sugar water feeder.

Start to notice where the hummingbirds are. Take note of the times they arrive and how many will frequent the feeder. Do they take turns? Are there some that tend to stay to the side more? It is advised that you only have one feeder in your garden.

If you have more than one feeder, then watch which feeder is preferred. If there is one feeder they prefer, study why the birds prefer it over others. 

3. Stick Around, but Take it Slow 

If the hummingbirds are regularly feeding at your station, then it’s time to get them comfortable with you. But, it is important to take it slow. Start with standing several feet away from the feeding station. Move a bit closer each day, but do not move too close too soon.

Author Note: Let the birds get used to you, and they will slowly learn to trust you. Obviously, avoid making loud sounds or sudden movements. The birds need to learn to trust you, and this can only happen slowly as they discover that they can trust you. 

4. Be Regular and Consistent

The hummingbirds will take some time to get used to you. But they can only do so if you are consistent with the time of day you are present with them. It is also important to stick to similar movements, such as how you stand and even your clothing. If you keep your behavior similar day to day, then they may learn to trust you faster. 

5. Hold the Feeding Station

Once the birds have gotten used to you, then it’s time to get even closer. If you’re able to stand right next to the feeder, you can try to hold the feeder. If you want them to land directly onto your hand, then use a small container. The container can be placed in the center of your palm and filled with hummingbird’s favorite food.

The hummingbirds will then be encouraged to land on your hand and feed directly from the container. 

Top Tip: Keep as still as possible! Any fast or sudden movements may startle the hummingbirds.

6. If you’re Using a Feeder, Provide a Perch

You can encourage the hummingbirds to sit on your finger by offering it as a perch. Place your finger directly in front of the feeding ports. 

Top Tips for Hand-Feeding Hummingbirds

Encourage the hummingbirds to land on your hand with these extra tips:

Wear Red

Hummingbirds are known to love the color red. This can be a red accent on your outfits, such as nail polish or an accessory. Or, you could be fully kitted out in a red outfit if you like. 

Use a Simple Feeder

If you want to start with a feeder before moving onto your hand, choose a simple one. The ideal feeder is one with a single feeding port, encouraging the birds to land on your hand. 

Have you Heard? Hummingbird Fossils Found in Europe

The hummingbird is one of the most loved birds in North America. There are many birds to love, but the hummingbird is on many bird watchers’ favorite list. 

There are 335 species, and they are all found in America (both North and South). However, in 2003, an expert discovered hummingbird fossils in Europe. Most previously believed that the hummingbird evolved in the New World.

Now, however, the fossils discovered in Europe threw that theory out the window. The 30-million-year old hummingbird fossils discovered in the south of Germany show that the hummingbird could have evolved initially from Europe and not from the Americas as was previously accepted. 

A Different Perception of the Hummingbird

Little hummingbird in the hands

Perhaps understanding the subtle essence of the hummingbird could help you in your endeavors to connect so closely with this special little bird.

The hummingbird is not only loved by the birding community. It is a highly revered bird in many different societies and cultures. For the shamans, the hummingbird is one of the most important animals. In the South American shamanic societies (specifically the Andes region), the hummingbird is a symbol of resurrection. The hummingbird appears to die at night, especially on the cold winter nights.

However, they reawaken as the sun rises. This is only one small part of the significance the hummingbird holds. Its wings flutter incredibly fast. Many people do not see with the naked eye that the hummingbird moves their wings in an infinity symbol. This infinity pattern encourages the notions of continuity and eternity. 

Still keen to know more about the hummingbird’s spiritual significance? Even if this is not your belief, it is interesting to discover. Not only is the hummingbird revered across a variety of spiritual traditions, but it also holds high esteem.

Hummingbird Lore

The hummingbird represents the North, one of four cardinal directions. In the Munay-Ki shamanic tradition, the hummingbird is called on to connect with ancestral wisdom and to trust our inner knowing. The hummingbird’s natural behavior is also a cause for introspection.

Author Note: They are courageous creatures, traveling far distances from the North to the South, over the Atlantic ocean. Sure, many birds make a lengthy migration. But if you take a look at the hummingbird, you wouldn’t expect they are capable of such intense journeys.

For this reason, the hummingbird is often a symbol of courage. They never falter in their intuitive and instinctive gravitation for their journey. It could be this instinct, this innate knowing, which makes them largely successful in their long migration from Brazil to Canada.

The hummingbird is one of four archetypes in the Munay-Ki tradition. They are often called upon by shamans for aid. The hummingbird’s wings move rapidly, creating a blur, and it is almost impossible to focus on the fluttering wings. Often, they appear to be still, frozen in flight and time. 


For many birdwatchers, the hummingbird holds a special place of mystique in their hearts. They inspire respect that is difficult to explain with rationale. For those that are spiritually inclined, they have many beautiful teachings.

We hope you enjoyed this article on how to get a hummingbird to land on your hand.

Fly high friends!


Should I feed a hummingbird from my hand?

It might make some people feel uncomfortable thinking about getting that close to birds. If they associate humans with food then it might put them in danger, surely? Well, one way you can enjoy feeding hummingbirds from your hand and still keep them safe its to make yourself as least human as possible. By staying really still and holding your hand away from your body you can do this.

Do hummingbirds remember people who have fed them?

Hummingbirds have excellent recall for places where they have got food. So, they will return to feeders regularly, even year after year. This also means they may well remember you and associate you with a full feeder.

How do I attract hummingbirds to come into my garden?

Plant lots of native, colorful flowering plants. Hummingbirds are attracted to tubular flowers from which they can extract nectar. Ask at your local garden store what plants they suggest.

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