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Submitted By

Jan Smith

Comox, BC, Canada

Description

Since this nest was destroyed in daylight and not at night I suspect a crow over rats or a cat. That, and I saw a crow swoop through the yard and could here a few calling in the trees.

Category

Open cup nests

Hummingbird Nest Destroyed By A Crow

Anna's Hummingbird nest found on the ground ten feet from its original location. It had been such a pleasure to watch the hard-working, serious mama do her job. I feel quite sad.

31 responses to “Hummingbird nest destroyed by a crow”

  1. Robyn Bailey says:

    Such a beautiful nest; it is really sad to see it ruined. I hope she will try again.

  2. Karla says:

    The same happened to the hummingbird nests in our backyard. I could tell it had to be a bird (most likely a crow) because it managed to destroy a nest which a rodent or cat couldn’t get to.

    Now the same hummingbird is building new nest in the same spot as before. Do you know how I could protect her nest from crows this time?

  3. Bob says:

    I have the same problem. I have a hummingbird that has now built a third nest in the same place three times. I think a crow that I see hanging around gets to the babies and destroys the nest before they can fly. The hummingbird is now sitting on a new nest that she has built in the same place. What can I do to protect her?

  4. Amy says:

    I’m having the same problem as well. The female Costa’s hummingbird just had her second nest with eggs in it destroyed in the same month! She keeps building them in a very exposed tree. A pair of crows have been hanging around the tree, watching and waiting. The leaves still have not grown back on the tree for cover, which is very unusual this late in Spring. How can I help her when she starts building a third nest? I know she will be back. Pobrecita.

  5. Amy BL says:

    That happened to a nest at our house too. A hummer built her nest on a Wandering Jew hanging plant on our porch. We had a windy night and because the nest was well hidden I didn’t notice it had fallen. Later the next day I found it in another plant and parts of one of the chicks nearby. I eventually found the other chick at the bottom of an empty pot. Both were only 5-6 days old and the fact that one survived is pretty amazing. I took the one and put it back in the nest and reattached it to the plant with spider webs. The mom returned and accepted my repair! Sadly the next night the winds were up again and the following morning I found the second chick had met the same fate as its sibling. The neighborhood crows were all over our roof so I suspect they’re to blame. Everyone has to eat I guess.

  6. Hillary Klemme says:

    Our sweet hummer built her nest on a line string lights off our deck. Her nest was underneath an overhang on our deck, close to the house and very well protected. We have been eagerly watching the mama, the two eggs and then the hatched babies. The babies were about 7 days old, still very tiny and just sprouts of feathers.

    Last night was windy for a short while but not windy enough to knock the nest down. In the morning, when I went to check on the little family, the nest was gone. There was a very small patch of the nest still connected to the lights. There were no remnants of the nest on the ground or anywhere nearby. The mom was in a tree nearby chirping non-stop.

    Any ideas of what could have happened?

    • Tracie says:

      We have a similar situation. Our little hummer built her nest on a string of lights attached to the edge of our roof. She had at least one baby she’s been busy feeding for 1-2 weeks. This morning we found a chunk of her nest on the ground. Most is still intact attached to the lights. I don’t see any sign of chicks on the ground anywhere nearby so I’m hoping it’s still in the nest. She seems to be still trying to repair and salvage her nest so I’m hoping the baby is still okay and in the nest. I’m not sure what destroyed it. It does get windy but her nest has held up under windier conditions. It’s also pretty well hidden and I don’t think squirrels could get to it. Our other guess is maybe the chicks were older than we first thought and were ready to fly or damaged the nest. We’re so baffled by what could have happened but as long as she keeps flying back I still have hope.

    • BC says:

      An Allen hummer build a wonderful nest in the Ficus tree on my condo balcony on Feb. 27, 2024. She sat on the eggs for a few weeks. I saw the beaks of the hatched babies at the end of March. The mama kept sitting on the nest. But by mid April I did not see the babies growing up? The mama kept coming back but there were no babies. She then seemed to abandon the nest. This morning on April 22 the nest was gone from the tree besides just some small pieces remaining. The mama bird is still in the area.

  7. Joseph says:

    I’ve been watching a hummingbird mama diligently take care of her single baby (only 1 hatched). Today, within a 20 min time period of me checking, the nest was sacked and gone! The unhatched egg was on the ground. I saw the hummingbird mama come back 10 mins later and zip all around the tree looking for her baby :(((

  8. Lisa F. says:

    @Hillary Klemme- I had a similar situation but I did find the nest and it was nearly intact. My son mentioned he had seen a squirrel on our grass earlier that day but I don’t see how a squirrel could have reached the area where the nest was and remove it without completely destroying it. I am still baffled and sad as the babies were about a week old 🙁

  9. Victoria Lau says:

    This morning our hummingbird eggs disapear from their nest will the mother come back around to built a new nest. Will she come back?

    • Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

      Hi Victoria, it’s impossible to predict this, but it sounds like she could have been scared off by a predator. If this is the case, it is unlikely she will re-nest in the same spot; birds seldom return to nest in places where they have previously been attacked by a predator. Please email us with any further questions at nestwatch@cornell.edu – these comment sections are not regularly monitored.

  10. Kamal says:

    Hi, in our home there is hummingbird nest, now there two eggs in nest , in previous summer hummingbird made nest in same place , now again this time same place nest, how can i protect them?

  11. Dana Marks says:

    Just saw a crow fly to the hummingbird nest right outside my window. Been watching mama hummingbird sit on the nest for a couple weeks. I checked and the damned crow snagged the eggs. I was too slow to get there in time to stop him.. grrr! Not sure what the mama is gonna do now. Very upsetting. 🙁

  12. Robert voll says:

    Crow did the same thing here too I’m pretty sure.

  13. Panshu says:

    Same happened to me 🙁 me and mother were crying a lot😭😩😩 this world is so evil.

  14. Karen says:

    Super sad! I’ve been watching Mama Dot (little hummer mama with a dot on her chin) build a nest right outside my patio and take care of her babies for over three weeks now. Babies hatched about 12 – 14 days ago, from what I gather. I could just see their little beaks from a distance. I looked out just about 30 minutes after I had seen their little beaks and suddenly saw only what looked like a big puff of fluff from the nest. I have a cam set up out there and backed up the cam only to see a crow land on the patio roof and jump to the tree right next to the nest. The cam stopped recording, but it’s pretty clear that he got the babies. 😢😢 Mama Dot has been flying around and landing on the nest. She’s tucked all of the fluff back inside and keep flying back and forth. I’m positive both babies are gone. 😢 I hate crows.

  15. Sara says:

    We had two babies, about 1 week old. I checked on them this morning and saw their 2 little beaks, but we’ve noticed a couple crows hanging around our porch (where mama made her nest). Went to check a few hours later and one chick was dangling by a foot caught in the webbing of the nest and the other chick was gone. I scooped up the little guy and put him back in the nest because mama was going crazy. He seemed to nestle back in, but I had to run to an appointment. Came back and the second baby was gone, mama buzzing around like crazy again. Just now saw a crow on our patio table so I assume he got both chicks. I know it’s nature, but it was so fascinating to watch mama build her nest, then keep them warm for 2 weeks, then see these little beaks emerge and mama feeding them only to have this be the outcome. Today was a sad day 🙁

    • Holly Grant, Project Assistant says:

      Hi Sara, it’s certainly sad to see, but unfortunately quite a common occurrence in nature. Rest assured that it is one of the many factors playing into why birds lay so many eggs and have multiple broods per year – they are “accounting” for these inevitable losses. (If every single egg from every bird survived to adulthood, there wouldn’t be enough resources on Earth to support all of those birds, let alone other organisms.) This adult will likely go on and re-start a second brood somewhere nearby.

      • hellie says:

        Thank you for this comment – it made me feel a little better. I watched an Allen humminbird successfully fledge two chicks earlier this year during awful atmospheric river storms. I was surprised when she rebuilt the almost destroyed nest. She had one chick 9 days ago. This morning my dog alerted me in time for me to see a crow flying off. It had ripped out the side of the nest. Mama came back and repaired the nest and sat on it again giving me hope that the crow had been scared off before the chick was hurt. But Mama has now abandoned the nest. I am really sad about it.

  16. Anna Scandalos says:

    A hummingbird built her nest on my bulganvilla branch outside my bedroom window in 2021 and I was blessed enough to watch them hatch and fly away. This she laid two more eggs a year later(this year) and I got footage of a crow that, perched on the railing, reached out and ate them. The mom still feeds on the feeder I put out there. I since put an owl with a moving head in the bush and spikes on the railing to cut off access to the crow from the nest, in hopes she lays eggs in there again sooner than next year. What’s the likelihood of a hummingbird laying eggs right after her eggs were eaten by a crow?

    • Holly Grant, Project Assistant says:

      Hi Anna, It’s hard to say for sure. Usually if the adults are attacked or scared off the nest they don’t tend to return to the same spot to build again in a future year. That said, it won’t prevent another individual from trying to nest there.

  17. Texas Bird Family says:

    So sad!

  18. katee says:

    I read that 4 inch wide plastic netting over a nest can help prevent pilferage by crows. Any experience with this?

    • Holly Grant, Project Assistant says:

      Hi Katee, netting over nests can be risky, especially if the birds have started nesting already – the netting can make the nest inaccessible to the host bird, or it can block the view of it, so the bird may have a hard time re-finding their nest. New, unknown items may be confusing to the bird as well – all of these can risk abandonment by the adult. So, in the case of avian predators, our best advice is to leave the nest as-is, try to give it space, and draw as little attention to the nest as possible.

  19. Robert M says:

    I have a hummingbird nest just outside of my home office window, shocked when I first saw it and have been in awe of the process of eggs to baby humming birds. Dang…I just saw a crow come and grab the baby’s and take off (30 min ago, max). Returned a few times to see if it missed anything and gone again. Mother humming bird has been back several times, poking around the nest…looking around (For the babies?), leaving and coming back. I am sad as I wanted to see them take flight, but do understand: Nature – Red in tooth and claw.

  20. Mel says:

    A hummingbird build a nest in our garden for the second year in a row, but this time it was destroyed by a crow the day the eggs hatched. I’m so devastated. Is there any way to deter crows and protect the nest in the future?? I hate crows.. they are just pure evil 🙁

  21. von peterson says:

    i had a hummingbird nest, there were 2 babies, one stopped flurishing at age 4days, the other kept growing, and mama kept feeding. my landlord wanted to trim my tree, i said, please wait at least 2 weeks (as baby was ready to fledge in a week), the next day i came home from work, and they had chopped that branch down, i found it in the dumpster, nest still attached, baby gone, but the non flurishing one was still in there, so i burried it. i went back to my apartment, and mama was flying all around, then right in front of me she flew to the ground, and showed me her baby! i went to the dumpter, took out the branch w/ the nest, i tied it around the tree, and i scooped it up baby and put it back in the nest, i put more branches around it, with a hole for mama to get in, and i checked on it ALL night. In the morning the baby was still there, i was SO happy!! means mama found it, and was feeding it. I came home from work, and the nest was torn apart, and baby gone. Mama was sitting across the sidewalk just looking. i was hysterical. crying.. omg, why didnt i put it somewhere elese? what else could i have done? i think a squirrel crawled up and got it, as there was one that would do that to get to my bird feeder. I was going to take the feeder down to not intice it to go up the tree, but i didnt think of it until i was at work. im jsut so sad that they chopped that branch down.. humans!.. not nature. it was nature, while it was in the tree that i strapped it to, but i feel it was my fault, i should of put it somewhere else. now i have to go home today and take down the branch (as its dead now), and remove the nest… im crushed. Is the mama sad? do they greive? i hope not, that hurts my heart even worse!

    • Lisa M says:

      Hummingbirds are protected in the United States and it is a federal offense to disturb them and their nests. I had a hummingbird nest in my umbrella tree until this morning when it was destroyed by crows. A month ago Edison had to dig up my yard for electrical maintenance. When they learned of the nest a biologist came out and sat in my driveway for 3 days watching the hummingbird to make sure it remained undisturbed and the workmen were allowed to use only hand tools. I would turn in the party responsible, especially after they were informed by you that the nest was there. At the very least the authorities should scare the crap out of the person from ever doing it again.

  22. Liz F says:

    I was so happy to find a hummingbird had made a beautiful nest on a string of lights. I hung from my patio cover. Two or three days into it it was destroyed by what I assume was a crow. I found a little piece of shell on the ground below. I keep looking for that hummingbird and hoping that she makes another nest

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