Hummingbirds don’t have much protection in the wild. They are able to fly quickly and they often blend into their surroundings. However, if they do get noticed by various predators it could mean the end for them. The specific types of predators that they may face depends on their location and often on the time of year it happens to be.
The biggest predator of the Hummingbird is the family of cats. In many regions there are domestic cats that will find them when they stop to perch, to feed, and even climb the trees and find them nesting. In the wild there are many types of cats that are fast, excellent hunters, and have the element of surprise on their side. They find the Hummingbird to be a fast meal that they will consume if the opportunity does present itself.
Since these types of birds are so small they also become prey of larger types of birds. It is very common for hawks to see the Hummingbird as a great source of food. They are often in areas where the Hawk is going to spot them too. The Hawk has excellent vision and speed so the Hummingbird has very little chance of getting away once it has been detected.
In some regions another type of bird called the Blue Jay is also well known for feeding on the very small species of Hummingbirds. There are plenty of types of snakes that live in the same trees that some of the Hummingbirds do. These snakes blend in well to the surroundings and can slither very quietly. Before the bird knows that the snake is present it is too late for them to get away.
Snakes often find the small eggs of the Hummingbirds in the nests of trees too. They will take the opportunity to dine on them as well if they get the chance. When the mother goes out to find food that is the time when those eggs are the most vulnerable. The Praying Mantis is a predator that many people don’t know about for these small birds. They too blend into the surroundings very well so a bird can land very close to one and not even realize it.
The Praying Mantis is an excellent hunter with very calculated moves. It strikes with lightening speed. It can take several days for the Praying Mantis to feed on a Hummingbird so such a meal is considered to be an excellent catch for them in terms of ultimate survival.
The very small species can also be victims of large types of spiders that are found in their natural habitat. Some of them create webs that the Hummingbird can be stuck in. Others will attack out of nowhere and the venom they inject as they bite immobilizes the bird. Then the spider will such the liquid out of them. Both bees and wasps have also been found to feed on the small Hummingbirds.
Humans can be a risk to Hummingbirds too but there aren’t too many people out there with a desire to kill them. There are some though that view them as pests and will destroy the nests they make in the trees to deter them from being there year after year to allow their young to hatch. The use of pesticides is another way that humans have become a threat to this species of birds.
Overall, predators account for the reason why more than half of all Hummingbirds will die before they are 1 year of age. In areas where other food sources are scarce these types of predators continue to turn to the Hummingbird for their own survival.