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Keeping hummingbirds out of the barn

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  • Keeping hummingbirds out of the barn

    Although I love seeing the hummingbirds, when they get in my barn they get confused and can't get out. They just keep flying into the skylights until they are exhaused and fall and die . I just found my 3rd one yesterday. If I see one I try to net it(my barn is very high, w/a hay loft) but sometimes I just can't catch them. I didn't plant any flowers around the barn this year, and no feeders(that just seemed to attract more) With all the heat keeping the doors closed on the barn isn't an option. Any ideas??
    Fox Ridge

    Champ. Welsh Lands End The Colonels Fox
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  • #2
    They are not the brightest birds, having a brain the size of a pinhead, but they use it surprisingly well. When the wasps recently took over the hummer feeders, I started moving them. The hummers locate the feeder within minutes in its new location, the wasps take several days.

    I have had to rescue hummers from skylights before, unfortunate that you cannot reach yours. When they get tired, I have found it easy to convince them to mount my finger, then carefully carry them outside. If you can get up on the roof, you might try painting a grid of lines on the skylight to look like a cage or tacking some lightweight mesh cloth over the skylights that would still let light in but convince the birds it was not a way out. Or else, try hanging a hummer feeder by the barn door to lure them out- although that might lure more in.
    Hanging one of those streamer affairs in the open barn door allwos a breeze through but discourages birds and also trains your hrose for the extreme cowboy challenge as they learn to walk through the streamers.

    They are gorgeous little jewels and thank you for trying to save them. They are very beneficial both as pollinators and in the control of aphids and other small soft bodied insects they must eat to feed their young.
    "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


    • #3
      I don't know if the information posted here would help you or not:

      It's amazing that they can find their way south for the winter, but are unable to figure out how to get out of a building.


      • #4
        I don't have any tips on keeping them out, but maybe you can hang a feeder or two in the barn.
        That way if they get lost in there, they can find a feeder to drink from to keep up their energy until they find their way out again.

        They are attracted to red, maybe you can hang a red rag by the barn doors, that way if they do get stuck in there, they will fly toward the red rag, and find their way out again.

        Hummingbirds are my favorite birds. I have four feeders up at my home and I plan to add a couple more next year.


        • #5
          I have this happen a lot. They fly into my clay studio because they are attracted to bright colored objects. Try to keep anything red/ bright orange or yellow away from doors and open windows.

          I use a broom to catch them. Just turn it upside down and hold it directly under them, almost touching them. They will land and you carefully walk the broom to the open door. Been using this method for ten years and I've never had a hummer die on me yet.

          Good luck!


          • #6
            Easy out for the birds

            Remember Hummingbirds are attracted to anything red and they always fly up to escape and so get trapped in buildings. The easy way to get them out is to fill a red plastic bowl with sugar water or a traditional feeder, leave it near the exit(or close enough so they can see the red cup) and they will find it. Then move it outside and they are free.
            They can only live only about a hour in your barn and then they die from starvation and exhaustion.
            The Feeder water can be a strong solution 3 to 1 is fine it won't hurt them and even helps them recover from being trapped.
            Thats 1/3 cup sugar 2/3 water, you do not need to boil the water.
            Lots of hummingbirds get trapped in garages because the escape pull on the garage doors is gov. mandated to be red, so paint it black or cover with duck tape.
            Save the birds
            They can get so tame they will drink sugar water in a red cup out of your hands.


            • #7
              Also to avoid the wasp problem at feeder make sure your feeder does not have Yellow on it, the new ones use white but older ones used yellow. The Yellow color is what attracts the wasps.
              Hummingbirds aren't dumb and can learn tricks but their instinct to escape is to fly up.
              Horse people certainly understand escape instincts!


              • #8
                my feeders have a red tip and no yellow on them at all. Darn wasps are colour blind but not too bright! They are very aggressive to the hummers and will chase them off!
                "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                • #9
                  I've had the odd one in the barn and they are attracted to the skylights but I've never found a dead one so I ssume they get out eventually.

                  Depending on the number of openings in your barn you might try those plastic strips /curtains in the doorways to deter them.

                  I have too many open windows and doors for that to work here.