How to Find a Hummingbird Nest

Female hummingbirds conduct a variety of nest-related activities. The female begins her nest construction by gathering soft, earth-toned materials that can easily blend into the surrounding environment. She must also build and secure her nest so her brood can be raised in safety. Once the female has laid her eggs, she spends most of her time incubating them until they hatch. She spends a great deal of time searching for insects to feed the hatchling hummingbirds. When the young birds finally fly away, the hummingbird is free to return to her normal feeding habits.

Hummingbird nests blend easily into the surrounding environment.

Step 1

Look for likely nest locations. Search nearby trees or bushes for sites well off the ground to discourage predators. Look for nesting sites in a knot or "Y" of a tree or larger bush. Ideal nesting locations have overhanging leaves or other protective cover to minimize sun, rain and wind hazards. The female may move to a higher elevation or near a lake or pond for a cooler environment.

Step 2

Follow the female hummingbird. Sixteen species of hummingbirds breed in some part of the United States, with some areas home to several species. Make a list of hummingbirds that inhabit a given region, and identify the females of those species. Females present a muted appearance, while males possess more colorful plumage. Pay close attention to female hummingbirds' flight paths when they leave the feeder. You may need several visits to track them correctly.

Step 3

Identify the hummingbird nest. Female hummingbirds build a soft, walnut-sized nest. The nest may be constructed of lichens, grasses and plant down, with a network of spider webs to tie the nest together and anchor it to the tree or bush. The female may reuse her nest components each year, although she may choose another location for the new nest. Don't disturb the hummingbird nest, as it could alter her nesting behaviors.