When hummingbirds are sleeping, they usually sit on a branch or perch close by to wake up and take flight again. They tend to avoid birdhouses as they don’t like the enclosed space. Hummingbirds also prefer deciduous trees with lots of branches and twigs to find sheltered spots for their rest. They will roost in their nests during the breeding season but this only happens if the females have fully completed the egg incubation.
It’s important for hummingbirds to enter a state of torpor at nighttime to preserve their energy. They enter this hibernation-like deep sleep by lowering their metabolism and body temperature, essentially saving energy by not eating or drinking.
This helps them survive through the cold nights when their tiny bodies can be easily frostbitten, even in warmer climates. The hummingbird’s ability to enter torpor allows them to rest without depleting their limited energy stores, though they can only survive a few cold nights before they need to awaken again and start feeding.
As the sun begins to set, hummingbirds begin to settle in to their favorite sheltered spot for the night. They will usually select a tree where they can easily reach their food source for the next day, and where they feel safe from predators and harsh weather conditions.
Hummingbirds can’t perch upright when they are sleeping so they latch onto a branch or twig with their feet and hang upside down while they rest, just like bats. If you see a hummingbird hanging upside down on your feeder, leave it alone as it is likely in torpor and won’t be disturbed.