Nesting material for hummingbirds

Female Broad-billed Hummingbird collecting nesting material

A female Broad-billed Hummingbird collects nesting material provided by her host. (Click to enlarge)

Along the southern Pacific Coast and in the lower elevations of the Desert Southwest, Anna’s and Costa’s hummingbirds are already nesting or will be shortly. You can help by providing safe nest material such as clean pet hair, short lengths of white or light-colored wool yarn or roving, natural wool fleece, natural cotton or wool batting, and down salvaged from worn-out garments or comforters.

Short fibers (1/2″ or less) are easier for females to take and use and less likely to get wrapped around tiny feet. Hummingbirds prefer white and very light colors, but other birds may take darker fibers. Avoid synthetic fibers, dryer lint (which may be too absorbent and contain fabric softener residues), and hair from pets treated with flea/tick products.

Stuff the fibers moderately tightly into a clean onion bag or suet cage and hang the dispenser near your feeders, then sit back and watch the fun!