Ask the Bird Lady - will pruning displace hummingbird nests?

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A new feature for the new year: Christine Southwick will answer your wild bird questions. Send your questions or photos to us and Chris will respond. Here's the first question:

Anna's hummingbird feeding her baby
Photo by Dennis Paulson

Dear Bird Lady:
I need to prune some overly large laurel and rhodies - but fear I might displace a hummingbird nest without realizing - what to do? is there a time of year that if I took out their nest they would be able to rebuild and survive?

The Bird Lady responds:
Some Anna's Hummingbirds may already be starting to breed, but most will wait a little longer. Many that are breeding now will make their nests in coniferous trees under an overhanging branch because of the added protection.

I don't know about laurels, but rhodys are best pruned during and right after blooming. Since no more than a third of a rhody should be pruned at a time, if you want blooms the following year, it shouldn't be too hard to look for a nest as you prune. Laurels will be harder, so if it were me, I would wait until about April--no guarantees, since some hummers will do a second brood.

--Christine Southwick


Anonymous,  January 4, 2016 at 5:21 PM  

Thank you!

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