Polk County Conservation

Hummingbird in a Garage

  • There is a hummingbird flying around in my garage and it won’t leave even with the garage door open. Why won’t it leave and how can I get it out?

    Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red. The government requires all garage doors to have red emergency release handles. Unfortunately, these red handles look a lot like trumpet vine flowers to a hummingbird and they fly in to investigate. Hummingbirds can get confused and their natural response is to fly straight up and won’t leave the garage. After an hour, a trapped hummingbird can starve to death.

    To remove the hummingbird from your garage, try hanging a hummingbird feeder on the door opening. It may leave in the correction direction after feeding. But this doesn’t always work. If it still hasn’t left after 10 minutes, try something else. You can also try using a butterfly net to gently catch and release it outside. Sometimes, if you hold up a long handled broom or mop, the bird will land on it and you can carry it outside.

    Another technique to try is to shut the garage door, darken the windows if you have them, and turn off all the lights so the garage is completely dark. Hummingbirds don’t have good night vision and will likely flutter to the floor. Use a flashlight to find it and gently scoop it up. Take it outside away from the garage and hold it close to a hummingbird feeder. Open up your hands and it may fly right to the feeder or lie there for a few minutes until it orients itself. To prevent this from happening again, paint the garage door emergency release handle black and remove any red colored objects in the garage.

  • Contact Us

    Administration Office
    11407 NW Jester Park Drive
    Granger, IA 50109

    P: (515) 323-5300
    F: (515) 323-5354
    pccb_info@polkcountyiowa.gov

    Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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