Hummingbirds: Lifespan and Predation

How Long do Hummingbirds Live?

The average hummingbird lives for 3 – 5 years. The lifespan in the wild varies by hummingbird species, for most it is about 3 to 5 years. Larger species can live over a decade.

Hummingbirds have long lifespans for organisms with such rapid metabolisms.

Vervain Hummingbird (Mellisuga minima)

Recorded Longest Living Hummingbirds

Predation

However, many don’t make it through their first year. They are particularly vulnerable in the period between hatching and leaving the nest (fledging).

Various larger birds, snakes and mammals raid their nests for eggs and chicks.

Animals known to prey on adults, their eggs and young, include:

  • cats
  • birds (small hawks, owls, shrikes, roadrunners, orioles, tanagers, large flycatchers, grackles, herons, gulls)
  • largemouth bass (fish) – which will catch small birds close to the water surface
  • green frogs and bull frogs
  • spiders and praying mantises.
Amazilia Hummingbird (Amazilia amazilia)

Hummingbird Resources


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