Where Do Hummingbirds Sleep at Night?

Learn how hummingbirds sleep, where they go to rest at night, and how they go into a deep sleep-like state to conserve energy during cold weather.

How Do Hummingbirds Sleep?

Hummingbirds visit my feeders every day, year-round,” says Kay Teseniar of Kelso, Washington. “Where do they sleep at night, and how do they survive the chilly weather?”

Hummingbirds often find a twig that’s sheltered from the wind to rest on for the night. Also, in winter, they can enter a deep sleep-like state known as torpor. This odd behavior usually happens on cold nights, but sometimes they go into a torpid state during the day.

hummingbird torporCourtesy Charles Hoysa
A hummingbird leans back on a branch after feeding. It may be stretching or preening.

You may seem them hanging upside down when they’re perched on a feeder. All body functions slow down dramatically, metabolism drops by as much as 95 percent, and heart rate and body temperature decline significantly. Torpor allows hummingbirds to conserve precious energy and survive surprisingly low temperatures. The bird isn’t any worse off when it awakens. In spite of their fragile appearance, they’re tough little creatures!

So if you see a hummingbird in a strange position and a sleep-like state, don’t fret. It’s normal!

Next, learn expert tips to attract hummingbirds in winter.

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Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman
Kenn and Kimberly are the official Birds & Blooms bird experts. They are the duo behind the Kaufman Field Guide series. They speak and lead bird trips all over the world. When they're not traveling, they enjoy watching birds and other wildlife in their Northwest Ohio backyard.