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Can a Hummingbird Stab You? What You Need to Know

Can a Hummingbird Stab You? What You Need to Know

It might sound unusual but many people think that hummingbirds have the potential of stabbing you. However, is the rumor true? Can a hummingbird stab you to death? We will find all the details in the following article!

Hummingbirds use their beaks to stab each other

Hummingbirds could appear adorable due to their brightly colored plumage and their long, sensitive beaks. But don’t fall for it! According to a recent study, male hummingbirds use their sword-like beaks to fiercely slash rivals in the throat to keep them away from their female partners.

The hummingbird is, thus, the first bird to have been observed using its bill as a weapon. Additionally, the discovery has led ornithologists to reevaluate their theories regarding the evolution of the little birds.

In Costa Rica, Rico-Guevara and a colleague spent four years researching long-billed hermits, a type of tropical hummingbird that is indigenous to Central and South America. Both young and adult birds’ beaks were measured for length and sharpness, and the birds were monitored in their natural habitat by the researchers.

The study’s findings revealed that adult male birds’ beaks were the longest and sharpest and that they used them to compete with rivals as a part of a mating ritual. And the hummers with the most intimidating beaks won.

The results imply that the competition for mates among male birds led to the evolution of their beak shapes. According to earlier views, the beaks of birds were an adaptation that let them drink nectar from flowers. However, current research tends to indicate that the long beaks of the birds caused the blooms to evolve.

Reasons why hummingbirds stab each other

Hummingbirds have some reasons to stab each other. Although it might seem a bit brutal, these hummers use their bills to stab each other to survive and allow their progeny to evolve.

Here are some of the most prominent reasons behind their stabbing behavior.

1. Territorial disputes

Hummingbirds are highly territorial birds. They can become aggressive and hurtful towards each other during territorial disputes. 

Hummingbirds can showcase furious behavior when an intruder enters their territory. They can use their sharp beaks to defeat the intruders by stabbing them brutally. 

2. Breeding season

Breeding season is another time when the hummers can get aggressive. They can display furious behavior when it comes to protecting their females from other males. 

When a male approaches their females during mating season, they use their beaks to stab the male by piercing its throat. 

3. Safeguard their nests

Hummingbirds can stab other hummers when they pose a threat to their nests. These birds are excellent parents and can do anything to protect their young ones from invaders. 

One of the most common weapons used during nest protection is stabbing with beaks. The male birds can attack the intruders and stab them to protect their nests and nestlings. 

4. Defending their food supply

Hummingbirds have mastered the art of defending their food supply. Some hummingbirds can become highly protective over food and can do anything to scare away intruders. 

They often indulge in a fight when it comes to defending their food supply. Hummers can use their beaks to stab other birds and scare them off from their food supply. 

Can a hummingbird stab you? 

A hummingbird has the potential of stabbing, thanks to their sword-like beaks. They often stab each other in brutal fights in nature. Their sharp beaks can easily pierce human skin, causing us wounds. 

However, does that mean you should be careful of hummingbirds? Or, more precisely, can they stab humans? 

No, a hummingbird will not stab you. Although they can easily attack you, they won’t harm you. The hummers have reasons justifying their behavior. Surprisingly, those reasons don’t apply to human beings. Let’s look at why hummers cannot stab you! 

They are friendly with humans

Hummingbirds are long known to be friendly with humans. They often come closer to humans and try to communicate with us by chirping. Since they are friendly to humans, it omits the chances of getting stabbed by hummers through their beaks. Also, there aren’t any cases of hummingbirds attacking humans. 

They are just curious

Hummingbirds are extremely curious creatures. They often fly towards the face and encircle the eyes. Commonly, hummingbirds are attracted to our eyes. That doesn’t mean that they will poke out your eyes using their beaks. It means that they want to know you better and create a bond. 

They are afraid of humans

Hummingbirds are indeed friendly to humans. However, they are small and helpless creatures. They are afraid of bigger things, like humans, and prefer maintaining a safe distance from us. So, there are negligible chances that hummers can attack you or stab you to death. Thus, you are safe from hummers. 

Humans don’t pose a threat to their territory

As we already discussed, hummers often attack their rivals when they enter their territory. They can stab such intruders by piercing their throats. It’s an exclusive behavior toward other hummingbirds. However, you aren’t their rivals. So, you are safe from getting stabbed by hummingbirds through their sharp beaks. 

Humans aren’t their rivals during the breeding season

As the breeding season sets in, the competition increases. Male hummingbirds become furious and aggressive to protect their females and territory from other male hummers. So, they might stab male hummingbirds using their sharp bills. 

However, humans aren’t their rivals during the breeding season. So, your chances of getting stabbed by a hummingbird minimize dramatically. 

We aren’t their competition for limited food supply

Limited food supply often intensifies the competition among hummingbirds. They can become aggressive to protect the food sources from other hummingbirds, improving their chances of survival. However, we do not pose a threat to their food sources. So, there isn’t a chance that hummingbirds will stab us using their bills. 


Hummingbirds’ bills are strong weapons that they use to puncture each other’s skin. It’s not difficult for them to attack us and stab humans in the throat. However, they won’t do it as they are friendly and curious toward human beings.