Hummingbirds can die within four hours if not fed. Hummingbird babies that are fed sugar water or commercial hummingbird nectar for more than 24 hours may develop crippling deformities. Young hummingbirds secure themselves to the nest by weaving their tiny toes around the nest fabric. So firm is their hold, that if lifted from the nest, most often the legs are left behind. Never attempt to remove baby hummingbirds from their nest.
If you find an injured or orphaned hummingbird on the ground, lift it along with the material it is sitting on, and place it on crumpled tissue in a small box with holes in the lid. Always use tissue or paper towels, NOT cloth. The bird’s feet may become entangled in the cloth.
Dedicated trained wildlife rehabilitation volunteers feed baby hummingbirds every 15 minutes!
Whole hummingbird nests that fall when trees are trimmed can be put into a butter dish with holes in the bottom and wired securely into a dense part of the tree’s canopy. Check the trimmings to be sure the parents weren’t killed. Put a red paper or cloth near the nest to attract the parents, and watch for their return to the nest. Once they have found the nest, the red cloth or paper can be removed.