How to Get a Hummingbird Out of a Garage

How to Get a Hummingbird Out of a Garage

Guest post and photography by my daddy, Curt. He also shared this post a while back.

Every summer a strange phenomenon takes place in many American garages:  Hummingbirds fly in, but they don’t fly out.  They will stay in there, with the door wide open, until they keel over dead.  Weird, right?  Here’s why it happens, and how to get a hummingbird out of a garage. Time to convince your family you are a “hummingbird whisperer.”

Why Hummingbirds Fly Into Garages

A hummingbird has the metabolism of, well, a hummingbird.  They burn energy at a staggering rate, and so are constantly searching for food.  Their primary source is the sweet nectar they find inside blossoms, which is why you find them hovering about flower gardens.  Since their next meal is usually found inside something colored bright red, yellow, orange or purple, their tiny brains are programmed to seek these hues.  That’s why hummingbird feeders are usually colored red and yellow.

Enter the Law of Unintended Consequences. The government requires every electric garage door opener to have a release handle so if it becomes stuck, you can pull this handle to manually raise and lower the door.   If you step out into your garage and look up, you’ll see that this dangling little handle is, that’s right, RED, and shaped roughly like a trumpet vine flower.  You’re already ahead of me, aren’t you?

The unintended consequence of that red handle is that a hummingbird flies by an open garage, sees a little red “flower” inside, and zips in to investigate.  Upon finding they can’t stick their tongues inside that plastic handle for some nectar, most turn around and leave.  But a surprising number make a fatal error—they fly up.  Regardless of the reason, once they get it in their heads that “up” is the only way out, they refuse to fly through the open door.

This ends badly.  The confused hummingbird will hover near the ceiling, searching every high corner of the room, until it has to rest, usually on the garage door track or a light fixture.  It will repeat this cycle until it is completely exhausted and dies, which can take only a few of hours.

How to Get a Hummingbird Out of a Garage

Some of you this summer will head out into the garage with the kids to go somewhere, and find one of our little feathered buddies in exactly the situation I’ve described.

Stay cool.

Load the family up in the minivan, back out into the driveway, and tell them, “Watch this.”  Trot back into the garage and grab your leaf rake.  Slowly, slowly move the business end of the rake up to within just a few of inches of the hovering or resting hummingbird.

How to Get a Hummingbird Out of a Garage

Be patient.  It will, depending upon its level of exhaustion, land on the tines of the rake within just a few seconds. Then very slowly lower the rake a couple of feet and move toward the open door.  Once it sees more blue sky than garage ceiling the hummingbird will probably take off, but it might be so tired it needs to rest a minute even when you are all the way outside.  All the more time for you to look awesome for little onlookers.

How to Get a Hummingbird Out of a Garage

Remember to wave “bye” and act nonchalant when you get back in the car.  Feel free to answer questions about your abilities with whatever colorful story you care to fabricate.

After using this method for getting a hummingbird out of a garage dozens of times in the four homes we’ve owned, we give it our “Rachel’s Mom and Dad Seal of Approval”—which sounds like something that needs a graphic representation on TH.  Rachel? (Editor’s note to editor’s dad: Don’t press your luck, Dad. Look, you got published on my blog…twice.)

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  1. J Smith says

    It worked. Only took a couple seconds for it to sit on the rake. I then lowered the rake out through the door.

  2. drol343 says

    8/2/19… The rake trick worked! It took about eight landings of the hummingbird on the rake for the bird to trust the slow movement of the rake… and to be able to get it low enough and close enough to the door’s top… so the bird could see the blue sky. But when it did, it just flew out of the garage.

    • natalie says

      Thank you for the how-to! We had a hummingbird stuck up under a pavilion at our club, about 20 feet up. We used a pool rescue rod, and after a while the bird learned to rest on it. We guided him out after about an hour’s work. Bless you; without the advice he’d have surely exhausted himself.

  3. Liz Driskill says

    Thank you so much for this wonderful advice!! We saved our hummingbird trapped in our garage with our rake… thanks to you!!


    That Driskill Family

  4. Anne Anderson says

    I’m so glad I read this article it worked in about 5 minutes. The poor little hummingbird was flying around for about an hour, I took my rake for it to land on and within 5 minutes the bird landed on the rake and I got it outside safely.

  5. Don says

    Just did it. Worked like a charm! Thanks.

  6. Dan says

    I never had this problem until I replaced my old falling down garage with a new taller one. The red handle on the garage door makes sense but in my case the handle is not dangling off the center of the door. My door goes up the wall and the red cord is hidden off in the corner. I’ve tried putting red things by the bottom of the door opening to try to entice the birds to go “thataway” but I had little success. Alas I must resort to getting on a ladder and capturing them in a butterfly net my kids abandoned years ago. I wish there was a more permanent solution besides keeping the door closed all the time.

    • Curt says

      Unfortunately, we have found that even with nothing bright inside your garage hummingbirds will still come in on occasion to look around and act foolish.

  7. son stig says

    so the problem i have in my house is that the roof of the garage is angled up and i cant reach the bird, it disappears in the rafters and beams…i fear this will end badly

    right outside the garage is the humming birds nest with 2 eggs we have watched it sit on….

    ive kept the garage open for hours and no luck it still is inside flying higher….i cant leave it open all night….

    what else to do

    • Curt says

      I know the kind of garage you are describing, and it can be a problem. The only way I could see to deal with it is to get a ladder, climb up to the rafters with a rake and flashlight, and wait for it to get exhausted. Very labor-intensive. I hope this ended OK, but sometimes nature can be cruel.

      • Julie says

        That’s exactly what my husband did last night.!! I thought he was crazy but when he got up onto the rafters he just gently grabbed a hummingbird with his hand and came back down the ladder. The hummingbird was in between two trusses so it made it even easier. My husband always does dangerous stuff so I wouldn’t quite recommend this technique unless you have experience roofing or are just plain crazy like my husband.

      • Mary Ann says

        My family has had a “pet” hummingbird all summer. It has been as tame as a hummingbird could possibly be; feeding freely in front of us day and even after dark We were so upset to find her trapped in the garage today. Your article described the situation perfectly and your solution worked within 5 minutes! We are so grateful! Thank you!

        • Rachel says

          Oh wow, that’s amazing. I’ve never heard of a tame humminbird. 🙂 Glad my dad’s article could help!

  8. You failed to mention one simple way to cut down on the probability. The pull handles has to be red when you buy the opener, but it doesn’t have to remain when once it is installed. Cover the handle with black tape or spray paint it black, gray, white – any color that is not likely to induce a hummingbird to come into the garage.

    • Rachel says

      I think someone else mentioned that idea, too. It’s a good one!

    • Tari says

      What about the nest? It’s in the garage and keeps flying in and out

  9. Doris says

    Thank you for great advice and information. After a couple of hours, the hummingbird got tired and fell asleep on top my car, my son managed to scoop it up while my daughter was able to give it some sugar water. The hummingbird was able to rest and recoup in his warm hands for about half hour before it flew off to a tree. Important information is to Not use towel, cloth or net to trap it.

  10. Sonia Kazmierczak says

    I got a broom, added some red and white flowers on it and managed to get the hummingbird to “kiss” it right in the exit. In just 2 minutes he was out of the garage. Poor little thing…

  11. Paul Crandell says

    Thanks you so much!! I was in the garage working on my bike and in flew a young ruby throated male. I was trying the rake tactic when my wife got home. I asked her to get the neighbor’s feeder (empty) and fill it to try to keep him alive until we could figure this out. She hung a feeder from the inside (underside) of garage door and went to get sugar water. Despite being empty, he saw it, went for it and was gone!!

  12. CJ says

    We lost one. Then I found your blog and we were able to save another one a few days later.

    • Rachel says

      That’s great to hear!

  13. Sandy McFarland says

    I have had the little guy in garage for 24 hours now…. he is either the smartest or the dumbest hummer inexistance….. tried rake over 10 times now…even have it currently draped in a beautiful red Italian scarf….nothing…. trying the feeder thing now…. #outsmartedbyabird

    • Kelly says

      Try using an umbrella. We fastened a longer handle on it and put it above the hummingbird who kept flying upward. We gently eased it out if the garage

  14. Dave and Gretchen Carlson says

    It worked!!! Thank you!

  15. Kim says

    We just had one in garage for about 5 hours. After trying the rake and a swiffer sweeper to no avail I hung it’s feeder near the door hoping that would lure it out. Nope. That didn’t work either. It began getting dark so I turned the garage light on to check on it and it was still fluttering around
    the ceiling. After a couple minutes I turned the garage light off and turned the outside lights on and out it flew. I just love happy endings🤗

  16. Betty says

    Love the idea of putting read flowers in pots close to the exit of the garage and letting them help themselves. I have had to take care of this at least once a summer for the last 5. I always worry that I am adding to their exhaustion trying to help them with the rack. Thanks for the tip about pull cords.

  17. Valarie Hogue says

    Thank you! I was able to save two hummingbirds today in West Tennessee! 😊

    • Lindsay says

      HElp. One got in house with2 story rafters

  18. Ann says

    Thank you so much for this post! We just used our big floor squeegy to rescue a hummingbird in Iowa. And then wrapped the dangling red handles with black tape.

    • Rachel says

      Love hearing this, Ann!

  19. Sheri says

    Thank you so very much!! We did exactly what you said to do and it worked perfectly! Your advice saved a precious little hummingbird here in Iowa. Blessings!

  20. Kristin says

    You save a Tennessee hummingbird’s life tonight! Thank you so much!

  21. Jeff Buckeye says

    None of the methods mentioned worked for me. I closed the garage door, turned off all the lights and used a flashlight to blind and get the hummingbird to sit still enough in one place so he could be gently captured. Then I released him outside then I released him outside. Ideally, a butterfly net would work good, but I used my hands.

  22. Lisa says

    Added a little sugar water to the tines and a piece of straw that just happened to be in the rake-bonus.
    Took a little effort but it worked.
    “UP” perfect!

  23. Janet says

    Thanks. Worked great. Once he tired out he stayed on the rake and on his way to freedom.

  24. Christa Berkowitz says

    Works like a charm!! I used a metal rake… Poor thing was exhausted… Luckly I have a number of feeders in the yard so it can replenish.

    Thanks for posting!!

  25. B says

    I have extra tall garage ceilings so I was unable to get the rake high enough and keep it steady long enough for the hummingbird to rest. She kept resting on the wires that control the garage door opener which were out of my reach. I wasn’t too concerned because I thought it I left the garage doors open she would eventually fly out. Fortunately, I found your site that educated me otherwise and impressed upon me that time was of the essence. The sweet little creature had been in my garage for nearly 24 hours; as soon as I read your information telling me she would not fly out on her own and would perish from exhaustion I knew I had to do something immediately. When I was unsuccessful with the rake (due to the height of the garage ceilings) I collected a few flower pots with flowering red geraniums and cut a large red hibiscus flower off of my hibiscus bush. I set these flowers and flowering pots on tables at different heights around the garage in an attempt to have the hummingbird follow a trail of red flowers to the open garage door. It worked! I was a bit concerned when she momentarily flew back into the garage to hoover around the hibiscus. Fortunately, she only stayed a moment before flying to freedom. Thank you so much for educating us on the the hummingbirds trap patterns and eating habits- had you not mentioned that they are attracted to red and yellow flowers I would have not had the idea to set up the flowers! Hooray! She is free again!

  26. Ryan says

    Worked for me too. Just put some flowers in the rake tines. Watched the hummingbird’s flight pattern and then held the rake nearby. Once it started to suck from a flower, I began to lower the rake until it saw its exit and took off out the door.

    • K says

      Within minutes of reading this post and following the suggestion the hummingbird was free to fly into the beautiful blue sky. Thanks!

  27. CJ Mitchell says

    After numerous failed attempts with the rake alone and an increasingly stressed out hummer, I ended up making the quick standard hummer solution (2 cups room temp h20, 1/2 cup sugar, stirred well to dissolve) and pouring it over the rake end. It took about four tries for him/her to catch on, but it finally worked. And the little one got a bit of replenishment to boot!

  28. Richard DeLuca says

    I watched this little female hummer in our garage for about an hour befor finding your site. Took just about two minutes before she lighted on the end of the rake and I walked her out. Thank you so much!

  29. Suzanne says

    Worked for me!! I attached red flowers to my rake…thanks!!!

  30. EJ Diozzi says

    Worked like a charm!!! It’s mate had been waiting outside for a whole day…

    Thank you very much

  31. Catherine says

    So glad I read this! Worked perfectly thank you!!

  32. Judy Cantrell says

    Just tried using a rake for removing a hummingbird trapped in the garage. Worked like a charm in just a few minutes!!! Thank you.

  33. Kari says

    I am so thankful I found your site. We had a hummingbird get trapped in our shop, and she was buzzing around the very top, probably almost 30 feet in the air. After trying everything from turning the lights off to placing a feeder outside the shop, I started searching for other solutions. I had a long extendable fishing net that I duct taped another extendable wash brush to and then put about 8” of red duct tape on the end. She was so exhausted, because by then she’d been buzzing around for about 3.5 hours. I stood on the picnic table in the shop and put the long “perch” in the air and leaned it against a beam to keep it steady, and she finally landed and tried to eat on the red duct tape, so I slowly brought it down and moved her towards the door and she flew out! Huge opening with the whole end of the shop open, but I read when they get trapped they only go up and they will exhaust themselves and die in only a few hours. I considered leaving her overnight, but I’m glad I read otherwise. I’m new to having hummingbirds around our place, but am very happy I was able to save her little life. Thanks to everyone for the comments and suggestions!

  34. Beth Bugosh says

    You are the guru! It actually worked!!!

  35. Laura says

    Got one out today, used a push broom, didn’t have a rake. Landed on it after a few minutes and slowly brought it down, as soon as it saw the sky it flew right out of the garage. I was really getting worried as he was in there for a few hours, continually flying into the ceiling and landing on a cable in the garage. Im sure it was exhausted.

  36. Kelly Brad says

    I can’t believe that worked! Thanks!

    • Polly says


  37. Kelly Brad says

    This worked for me! took 3 tries, but only about 10 mins. thanks!

  38. Rosanne says

    We were so worried as we didn’t know how long the poor little hummingbird was in the garage. I used the rake but hung my hummingbird feeder on it. Reached way up as our garage has a 20′ ceiling. It finally landed to feed and I slowly lowered the rake below the garage door and out while the hummingbird hovered and fed. Thank you so much.

    • Polly says

      Another hummingbird saved!

  39. Bob M says

    I tried the rake method, maybe I was not patient or smoth enough, it did not work even though it was obvious that she was exhausted. I hung one of my feeders on a wire about 6 inches below the top of my enterence door. Within 2 minutes she came for a drink and flew right out the door.

  40. Gail Rivetti says

    Thanks so much – it worked perfectly. We opened the garage windows too and that was where we let him out! Then I got on a ladder and covered those red handles with black duct tape. I love hummingbirds!

  41. Frank says

    I did what you told me to do and it worked the bird was so tiny but we saved it with lots patients it worked

  42. Susan says

    The rake did not work for me. Poor little girl was so tired. I finally got a hanging basket of petunias and put that on a rake. She started feeding on the flowers and we slowly lowered the flowers down, got her outside and then she flew back into the garage. Once again we put the flowers up to her, lowered her out and as soon as my husband got her outside, I closed the garage door. 2 and a half hours of frantically running around trying to save the little girl.

    • Polly says

      So glad you didn’t give up!

  43. Alida says

    Worked like a charm. Had to remember to be patient. We have quite a few wires in our garage so I had to convince it to land on the rake. Took 2 tries but he was out in less than 15 minutes. Kids had fun watching the whole process

  44. Maja Jacob says

    Worked perfectly in seconds!!! THANK YOU!

  45. Steve says

    We tried everything to get a hummingbird out of a garage including other things people suggested on Google. so we waited until Dusky dark and then went out with a flashlight and I shined the flashlight on the ceiling near a step ladder and the little bird landed on the light on the ceiling and I just reached up and picked him up he was tired! So then I carried him outside and shut the door behind me and made sure he wouldn’t get back in the garage and then I release the little bird to Mother Nature. Success at last!!! And he flew UP when he flew away!!!

  46. Liz says

    I had success holding up a long branch of the bush they live on – a Butterfly Bush from my backyard. Worked!! Whew, what a long 2 hours before I tried this….didn’t have a rake .

  47. gk says

    Got my hummer out of garage using pole with red feeder on end. then guided her out the open door.

    • gk says

      by the way the feeder worked after less than 10 seconds, and slowly moved it toward the door and outside while the hummer was hovering around it. She must have been hungry.

      • Elle says

        We found a beautiful male hummingbird in our garage. He was extremely frightened. Even after a good 20 minutes he wouldn’t land on our broom (we don’t have a rake). After reading the comments here, we affixed a fake flower that we put a floral essential oil on though, and that did the trick. Poor little guy was bleeding a bit, and sat still on the broom for a very long time before flying away. In the end we sang him a little lullaby to unsettle his poor nerves, and that seemed to perk him up 😉 Sure hope he’ll be okay. Such lovely little birds!

  48. chrisfromca says

    A poor little hummingbird was caught in garage for hours – we alternated between trying to shoo her out and leaving her alone to fly out the front southern door, or turning off all lights and only having the eastern small door open to the bright outdoors. But she would only keep banging her beak against the ceiling. Finally I found this rake trick. We only have a small green children’s rake, but after her third landing, she stayed long enough, and I walked slowly enough, to bring her to the great outdoors. Thank you for your advice!

  49. Max says

    Another Hummingbird saved by reading this post today – thank you!

  50. Christine says

    Wow! Thank you so much! It worked and I saved the hummingbird!

  51. Jarod says

    Took a while but finally got him/her out with a regular rake it jumped off half way but I got him back on and outside he went straight to a tree thanks😊

  52. Kim says

    Just tried this. Ended up putting a couple red flowers from a Mandevila vine from my yard on the tinds of the rake. Took a few times to get bird to stay on rake but be patient. Works like a charm!!!

  53. Brennan says

    Just used this trick in our garage. Covered rake with flowers, held it ABOVE where it was sitting on garage door track, it flew over, took a few sips, landed and then I carried it out.

  54. MR says

    This worked! Thank you!

  55. Kathy Ann says

    Didn’t work. Gave up after two exhausting hours. She thought I was trying to trap her and flew in the opposite direction. There were lots of other things she felt safer landing on.. I’ve given up.

    • Rachel says

      I’m sorry to hear that. Well, you gave it a good college try.

  56. Thank you! The hummingbird wouldn’t leave the garage window. I tried the rake trick, and it worked. He did fly off the rake a couple of times, and returned to the window, but I think I was moving the rake too fast. I got him to land on the rake, then slowly moved it towards the open garage door. He quickly took off!

  57. Diane says

    Thank you! Worked like a charm. I was getting worried about the little gal (it was a female). She was trying to get her bill between a light fixture and the ceiling. The rake scared her off the first try, but on the second try she landed on it & I thought for sure she’d take off when I started to move the rake, but she didn’t until she saw the great outdoors!

  58. Andrew says

    Thank you for this advice! I had one trapped and stuck in “up mode.” I had hung a feeder in an open window, hoping the food and light would draw it. It got as close as 3′ away on a shelf above freedom, then flew up again. I tried your advice, and voila! I even had a red, plastic rake. Poor thing was tired, that’s for sure. Had I relied on the standard method of getting a bird out (give it one lighted path in darkness), my little friend surely would have died, with food hanging in the open window no less.

  59. Sam says

    So glad I found your post after a hummingbird flew into our garage this evening after the sun went down. Our feeder is right outside of the door to the garage and he made an unfortunate wrong turn. After 3 hours of my friend holding a rake with flowers taped to it and my husband holding a rake with the feeder hanging from it we successfully got him out of the garage, but it didn’t come easy! Lots of patience as the hummer would come feed off the nectar and fly off then drink from the feeder and fly off. After building enough trust we got him out thankfully! I would’ve felt terrible leaving him in there all night since he wouldn’t come below the rafters. Thanks for your informative post so we could free our hummingbird!

  60. Michele says

    This worked so well. Glad I googled and found this info. So helpful. My husband got a rake and the hummingbird was taken to safety. Love this happy ending. Thank you!

  61. John says

    YES! Thank you. It worked! I had a hummingbird in my garage, took a rake and waited. It landed on the rake and patiently allowed me to take it to a window and off he flew! Appreciate your suggestion.

  62. Gene says

    It totally works! One Saved Hummingbird!

  63. Mary says

    I held a rake w/red flower wound around tines, couldn’t get tired, frightened hummer to get on. Laid apparatus (sp?) on roof of our Polaris, went to get hummingbird feeder from patio, went back and hummer had left garage – maybe flew low enough to examine red flower and saw blue sky? Success!

  64. bonnie says

    Really does work. We mixed some sugar with water and poured it on our red plastic rake. It took a few minutes but it landed on it and like the sugar water. Enough to get it outside.

  65. chris tresslar says

    This didn’t work for me but I was able to trap him between two tennis rackets when he became really tired.

  66. Marie says

    I was in my garage most of the day with the door open doing a massive rearranging and cleaning job. I was almost finished when I heard the high pitched chirps and saw the hummer trying to escape in the skylight. The odd thing is that we did cover our red release handle with blue tape so he must have seen something else that drew him in. I googled “hummingbird trapped in garage skylight” and read several different methods. Our garage has 10 foot walls and and the roof is pitched to another 8 feet, so I had to climb up the tallest ladder we have holding a long push broom. Not the safest feeling but I did not want this little guy to die. He did land on the bristles and as I slowly climbed down he flew back up every time. After three attempts, I tried again using a red rake, but now he was not cooperating and chirping and flying even faster. I actually gave up for about an hour and was about to go to bed, but after reading all these success posts I decided I had to try one more time. I taped some pink and red geraniums to one of the tines and just tried to get it as close to him as I could. After a few minutes he noticed the flowers and landed on the tines. I very slowly climbed down and walked out the garage toward a flower. It was pitch black outside but I did hear the buzz of his wings and he flew into the darkness. I hope he finds nourishment and makes it! I am so happy I found your post and that my one last attempt worked! Thank you!

  67. Paul says

    This totally worked! Took about five landings on the rake, but it worked. Outstanding! Thank you.

  68. chewy says

    I used a broom. Worked! Thanks!

    Didn’t want the poor guy to keel over

  69. SANDI J says

    Again, found a poor hummingbird in our garage late one afternoon in mid-April here
    in the Upstate of SC . Tried my best as always, to get the little one out of garage doors and open single door. No luck, so I googled this site, But by that time the
    little one was so tired I just hung a freshly filled hummingbird feeder from the
    garage metal frame and he went right to it and drank and drank the sweet
    liquid and seemed to get some of his strength back. It was too dark outside to find
    the rake and he did get very weak and drop gently to the floor of the garage. I
    placed him outside in my flower garden on a large soft dill plant. Checked this AM
    and sure enough he was gone. He made it!! However, the first thing this morning
    I wrapped the red knob that releases the garage doors with black duck tape.
    Hopefully this will keep the little ones out of our garage. I could never figure out
    why the hummers always would fly into the garage. Never in a million years
    thought of the red knobs. It now makes perfect sense why. Great tip and I will
    pass it on via my emails to all of my bird friends. Today is a special day.

  70. Tina W says

    THANK YOU for this post! My heart sank when I realized the hummingbird that flew into my garage did not know how to get out, in spite of the garage door and side door both being wide open. I Googled “hummingbird stuck in garage”. Yours was the first post I saw. It took me about 15 minutes to help her find freedom. She landed on the rake several times, I’d almost have her out and she’d fly back in. But finally…success!! I like the additional ideas being posted like adding flowers to the rake or using hummingbird feeders to lure them towards a window or the garage opening. Also, I will be changing our ‘red’ garage door pull, as suggested, as well. Again, thank you!

    • Rachel says

      Always happy to hear of another success story. Awesome, Tina!

  71. Jeremy says

    Success, thanks so much for this post. All of the neighborhood kids were cheering.

    • Rachel says

      This. Is. Awesome.

    • Curt says

      That’s the kind of thing I love to hear, Jeremy.

      As an addendum, I was working in our garage a couple of days ago when I noticed one, then a second, then a third hummer fly in, check out the red handle quizzically, then fly right out again, no problem. The next one who came in looked over the handle for a second, then flew right up to the ceiling and banged his head. He just couldn’t figure out how to leave and eventually had to be rescued via the “Thriving Home Method.” Makes you wonder! It also prompted us to finally paint that red handle green, as recommended by previous poster Katy Sanchez.

  72. Lauren says

    OMG! This totally worked. My husband texted me while I was at the hair salon and freaking out because there were 2 h-birds flying around in the garage. I googled for information, and found this article. I texted it to him, and sure enough, he slowly lifted the rake up to the ceiling and the sweet little bird climbed on and flew away when the rake was brought outside!! Thank you so much for this awesome information…we love all animals!

  73. Brian says

    Spray painted that stupid handle. If the opener stops working we know where it is and how to use it. Does NOT need to be bright red if it turns an open garage door into a hummingbird death trap. I suppose some idiot government reg requires it to be red and thus will never change.

  74. DeAngela says

    Yay! It worked! Took several failed attempts but finally he/she stayed on the rake long enough for me to guide them to the door. 🙂

  75. Erin says

    This worked like a charm! Had two humming birds stuck in my garage this evening. Thanks for sharing the information.

  76. Jerry says

    Thank you for this. Guy’s been up there for hours. Attached the base of a hummingbird feeder to a rake, stuck it up there, and that starvin’ little fella was out of there in seconds. I even got it on video. Thanks again.

  77. Cheryl says

    Worked for me without colors. It took awhile to convince the little guy that this rake was a good place to rest but after a few attempts, he hung on and off we went out of the garage. Whew!!! Thanks so much!!

  78. Linda says

    I had just used the rake trick for the first time today.. at dusk . It took a few tries tho but eventually the little guy was getting exhausted enough that he landed on the rake & I was able to set him free..I wish I had the energy these beautiful birds have!! I will have a humming bird
    feeder hanging on my open garage door for the rest of the summer.. Hopefully no more frantic moments for the birds or ME!! Great post!!

  79. Vicki says

    This happened to us last year and after the poor thing dropped from exhaustion, I scooped her up and had her perched on my glove until she unexpectedly flew away. So today when it happened again, I went to Google first and found this post. Omg, within ten minutes I had her out! Thank you so much for this post!

  80. john cooper says

    My wood shop has a 16 foot ceiling and Hummers seem get stuck up high no matter what methods I use. I have hung feeders at the end of a 12-foot pole, eight-feet high, and have removed the door emergency handle. The door is 12-feet high and I tried hanging a feeder on the bottom when it’s open to discourage them from needing to enter to feed, but no luck. They continue to fly back and forth in the very peak of the shop and refuse to come lower and leave. Greenhouse screen hung on a home made roller blocking the entrance is my next plan, unless someone has an easier and cheaper solution.

  81. Derrek says

    I just used a fruit picker instead of a rake. Same idea and it also worked! Took a while – about 8 minutes, because I have a lot of struts in my garage ceiling and maneuvering the bird caused it to freak out and fly back up. Eventually though the bird stayed on until I got outside the garage!

  82. Katy Sanchez says

    From Madrone Audubon: Help save thousands of hummingbirds by making sure your bright red emergency pull cord on your garage is painted a different color (green is a good color that will not attract the birds but also is still visible). Every year thousands of hummers are killed when people leave their garage doors open and the hummers go inside thinking the bright red handle is a flower or feeder and then become trapped.

    • Curt says

      Excellent advice Katy, and something I should have thought to put the original post. Would be a fun and easy project for kids, and one they can talk about at school.

    • Keith McClary says

      I lured one out of the garage with a feeder (no juice in it) on a pole, but it flew back in to the red handle. Fortunately it came out again. I will wrap the handle with green tape. Also, remove colourful items from garage shelves.

  83. Shugi says

    So many rescued hummingbirds here! Lovely!
    We had a very panicked girl in our house yesterday for a couple hours. I tried the rake, including tying red flowers to it, but she just fled from it. She was so spastic she was hitting her head and leaving tiny feathers on the ceiling. It was awful.
    We finally ran to the pet store and grabbed a hummingbird feeder with some nectar and hung it from the ceiling fan where she kept landing. In less than a minute she was at it feeding forEVER. Then she sat still for at least 10 minutes. I let her feed a few more times to get those electrolytes. Then just moved the feeder to an open window. When she went to feed again, she did a double take and zipped out the window.
    I thought I’d post this for others with extra difficult guests who won’t leave. It’s very strange how they just will not fly a bit lower to an open window or garage door to free themselves…
    Thanks for this page. 🙂

  84. Karina says

    Thank you for this awesome advise. We freed a Hummingbird from our garage today!!!

  85. gene says

    Read your rake trick and worked or at least greatly helped! I taped two handles together so it was long enough got it up close to him but he wouldn’t land on it but the poor little was so tired that he dropped down and landed on a shelf and I was able to walk up and get him in my hands I took it outside the store opened my hands I thought it was to late it’s eyes were closed it was laying on its side I just held it in the sun light it opened its eyes and finally flew off what a great feeling thank you for your Web site!
    P.S. I was a hero

    • Rachel says

      Great news! My dad will be so glad to know he’s saved another life. 🙂

  86. Smileigh57 says

    Omg! I’ve been trying for the last 5 hours to get a hummingbird out of my garage. I was so afraid that it was going to die in my garage. I found this post and I went out but I didn’t have a rake. I found something that was similar. Actually it was what I used to pick oranges off my tree. Within 2 minutes I had the hummingbird and set him free. Thank you so much for posting this.

    • Rachel says

      Score! Another life saved thanks to my dad. 🙂

  87. Krista says

    Thank you for writing this post! I finally got it out after a few hours, and the addition of a hummingbird feeder as bait! It was extra tricky as it was nighttime so he really didn’t want to go out…thank goodness he finally did! Thanks again!!

  88. MJ says

    Thank you! I did not want to tell my kids mommy killed the hummingbird she promised to save when she dropped them off to school! After reading your blog and other posts,I took my green mop and put a red net on top. It didn’t work. So I let the bird fly until it was tired again and landed on a vertical surface. Then I gently put my net over her and very gently nudged her inside with the mop. She jumped into the inside of the netting and held on. I was able to walk her outside the open garage door. She hesitated a moment but once she saw the blue sky she went straight up and right to the flowers to eat. Thank goodness! I just knew she was a goner! Bless you for your article.

    • Rachel says

      That’s awesome. Way to go Mommy!

  89. Betsy says

    Thank you so much for this detailed and descriptive post. I had already found one dead hummingbird last year I October and did not want a repeat this year. So, after trying several times to put out a few feeders closer to the garage door exit and raising up the business end of the rake, the tiny tiny hummingbird was so tired, it did indeed land on the rake tines and came with me to the outside. as soon as he flew off, there was another tiny hummingbird that joined him immediately on a bush outside. I wonder if they were mates and/or had been waiting for the one trapped in the garage for that 1 1/2 – 2 hours? anyway, so happy for the way to help them.

  90. Heather says

    It worked! Thank you for sharing.

  91. Laura Kennedy says

    Worked for me – Thanks!!!

  92. Aimee says

    Thanks for this very helpful post! I had a frantic hummingbird flying around the corners and roof of my porch this morning, and I used a broom to gently move him (I *think* it was a him based on his shiny green feathers) to the open air just a few feet from where he was flitting about!

  93. lacnyc says

    Thank you so much!! New York, NY–yellow broom and a sprig of Cardinal creeper and red verbena finally did the trick. Took about 5 minutes to get interested, then gently moved in direction of the terrace door to freedom. Such relief for both, but a disappointment to my cat!

    • Rachel says

      Boom! Another life saved.

  94. Jan Richards says

    It just worked in College Station, Texas. Thank you so much. The hummingbird and I will sleep much better tonight.

  95. Cindy sauberlich says

    i have a hummingbird in the garage, was in there since 6 o’clock pm left garage door open left got home at 10 pm still in there on a cord from the ceiling if I can catch him do I release him at night? Will he find his nest

    • Rachel says

      Yes, he will find his way. Good luck!

    • Brian says

      Yes, This just happened to me today. We came home from the lake and there was an emerald hummer in the garage trying to get out the ceiling. He finally rested on the garage door opener. I climed up on a 6′ ladder with a hot tub net. I put on a red shirt then extended the net (4′) to the bird. He hopped onto it and I slowly lowered him and the net to below the garage door level then S-LO-W-L-Y stepped down the ladder and towards the from of the garage. half way out he say daylight and flew out. The whole operation took less than 5 minutes. Another save!!

  96. Susan - Georgia says

    Perfect!!! Thanks for the advice. Just used it to get 3, yes 3 out of our garage (which was only open long enough to drive the car in).

  97. Morgan says

    Thank you so much! I walked outside to find a sweet little hummingbird panicking & trapped in the garage. I googled what to do and it worked within 30 seconds!!! Thank you so much!!

    • Rachel says

      That’s awesome! I’m glad my dad could help!

  98. Steven Driscoll says

    Unbelievable, it just worked for me. I could tell I was making matters worse for the little guy with a towel so I came in googled “how to” and your site came up. Grabbed a kitchen broom, walked back out the front door and into the garage. The little guy was still banging into things, so I put the bristled end of broom next to him and almost immediately he just went to it, sat down. I walked him outside the garage and off he went. My neighbors just happened to be outside having a discussion and were in total awe. I’m just not sure if it was because they saw Steve with a broom or because of what they had just witnessed, I’m sure it was the later. Excellent site. First time I’ve ever written anything on a public site but just had to tell your readers how smart you really are and YES it works like a charm. Steve D

  99. Beth says

    We had a hummingbird trapped in the garage for hours last night when I decided to look for a solution online. Thank you so much for your post, the hummingbird went right to the rake and was free in just a couple of minutes. My three year old son was very relieved that the hummingbird would be returning to his family who surely missed him during the ordeal!

  100. Diane Bond says

    I used a rake but attached a hummingbird feeder, with brand new juice, to the rake. Worked in less than two minutes!

    • Polly says

      So glad!

  101. TeresaNolley says

    oh wonderful the rake tricked work but I couldn’t get him to stay on the rake. So I hung my hummingbird feeder on the end he flew right over and fed all the way to freedom. 🙂

  102. Jaime says

    Hallelujah! Attach flowers if you got them!! After several failed attempts with our black rake, my daughter and I went back and read your comments; We picked some roses from our garden and attached with a hair band. The hungry lil hummingbird was attracted immediately. It still flew off several times when attempting to lower the rake, but it kept landing back on the rake and it took less than two minutes to get him out. Thank you so much. We were also curious as to what was causing hummingbirds to come into our garage in the first place (3rd one) Alas, hanging in the middle of the garage was the emergency cord with the red trumpet flower looking knob. We will be painting that white today. Again, thanks from a grateful mom and daughter and a feathered friend!

  103. joey boyd says

    Thank you so much. Your tips helped me save a hummingbird today. It was trapped in my garage. It would not willingly land on the rake (mine was silver, not red), but i waited until it was worn out and had no other choice but to land. It had been trapped for two hours and frantic. I was relieved that your trick worked. I had to prevent it from landing on other surfaces (it really wanted to go toward the cords/wires near the garage door mechanism at the ceiling). It was as happy to be free as I was to be able to save it. Thank you!

    • Polly says

      So glad it helped!

  104. am says

    Worked within seconds! Poor bird has been trying to get out of the garage for hours.. Despite the door and windows being wide open.
    Thank you thank you!!

  105. michelle says

    Thank you. We had one for a couple of hours. Was afraid he would die. Used our pool skimmer. He landed on net took him out and he flew away.

  106. Lara says

    We used a hair band to attach a couple of brightly coloured flowers to the tines of the leaf rake and waited patiently until the hummingbird landed. Took about 15 minutes

  107. Lindsay says

    I must have a fickle humming bird in my garage because I’ve been working so long to get this poor little thing to stay on the rake. He’s tired I can tell but every time he lands and I slowly lower the rake he flies off. I hope he gets out soon….

  108. James Thacker says

    I’ve had this happen several times a year and sometimes it takes a long time to get one out of the garage. I use a push broom that I have because it has green bristles. I also lower the top portion of a double hung window in the garage, move the broom over there and have them exit that way, I’ve found that lowering the bird low enough to go out the garage door frightens them and they fly right back in. The last time I had to get one out which was about a week ago I wasn’t having any luck so I hung a hummingbird feeder next to the open window and the bird went right to it, got a drink and flew right out the window.

  109. Ruby says

    7/19/15: after my husband tried to shoo the hummingbird out for over a 1/2 hour, I went on-line and Googled “hummingbird in garage”. Up popped this solution. I got out there with my red rake and within 10 min our hummingbird was free! Thank you!!!

    • Polly says

      So glad it worked!
      We had no idea how many hummingbirds we would be helping out by sharing this little tip. Haha!

      • kim says

        this poor little girl (think she was a girl since she was dull in color) she flew around and around for several hours, then I googled this article. I took the rack and for several minutes she wouldn’t stay on it no matter how I still and slow. Then I noticed the red and got 2 of my empty hummingbird feeders that look like strawberries and slid them on the tines and low and behold she went to it and out the door she flew….I cried……thanks so much

        • Polly says

          So glad to hear this!!

  110. Tina says

    My granddaughter and my daughter called upset that they found a hummingbird in their garage. She seemed to have gotten stuck on the track of the garage door. My granddaughter said, Nani she gonna die, what are we going to do?
    I google everything and found this post. I calmly read this to my daughter. She immediately, got a rake and within 3 mins I could hear my granddaughter screaming… Nani .. Mommy got her on the rack and she flew away. Yay!
    Thanks for the info.

    • Rachel says

      This will make my dad so happy (who wrote this post just for people like your daughter)!! I’m thrilled that it worked.

      • Curt says

        Rachel’s right–it did make me happy!

      • Sheila says

        Also worked for me. Thank God for Google and thank God for Dad’s that share their knowledge.

        • Rachel says

          Totally agree on both! Glad it worked!

  111. Cat says

    This just totally worked! Googled hummingbird stuck in garage, found this post, and she was free in minutes after the rake trick!! Thank you.

    • Polly says

      Glad it could help!

  112. Tara says

    Haha! I love this post. I get the feeling it will come in handy as our neighbors had this issue recently. Now I can look like a hummingbird whisperer too! Excellent. 🙂

    • Justin says

      First tape some red, purple, yellow or whatever color flowers on the end of a broom stick or the end of the rake. Next get the hummingbirds attention with it, keep in mind that this might take a couple of minutes. Once the hummingbird is attracted to it move it slowly out of the garage. This really works.

      • Patti says

        Sorry to say, this does not work. I will wait till the bird is exhausted and try again. Too afraid of the rake and the flowers.

        • Sheila says

          I does work, I just did it. Took me about 5 minutes to be able to walk slowly enough …… but away he went. This DOES work. Helps to have a red rake tho’.

      • David says

        I tried the rake by itself and it didn’t work too well. I reread the posts and saw the one about adding flowers….voila!!! The bird was interested but still wouldn’t land on the rake. Then as he was checking out the flowers he saw the red pull cord from the garage opener, went down to check it out and he saw daylight and high tailed it out of the garage.

        Thanks for the tips. I have one for everyone, I immediately painted my two pull cords black!

        • Dee Holmes says

          We just tried it on our little hummingbird and it worked. We had tried for hours to get him out. We too are going to paint our cord black! Thank you!!!!