Do Hummingbirds Eat Tomatoes? (Ways To Protect Tomatoes)

It’s beautiful to watch hummingbirds coming to your garden in search of nectar. These birds visit thousands of gardens in search of food and are one of the largest pollinators. However, do hummingbirds eat tomatoes? are they destroying your months of work? Let’s find out. 

Do hummingbirds eat tomatoes

Do hummingbirds eat tomatoes?

No, Hummingbirds don’t usually eat tomatoes. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there are only a few instances when hummingbirds are seems hovering over tomato plants. They however at times use the vines to get other live snacks from your garden. 

But there is no solid evidence to prove that hummingbirds don’t eat tomatoes at all. So if you see a hummingbird near your tomato plant the bird is either trying to prey on some insect on your tomato plant or you have multiple nectar-rich flowers. 

How do I stop birds eating my tomatoes? 

Indeed it is annoying to lose all your tomatoes before you get a chance to pluck them. But thankfully, there are ways to keep birds from feasting on your precious tomatoes. Below are a few tips using which you can keep the birds away from your garden completely or protect your tomatoes from them. 

How do I stop birds eating my tomatoes

1. Cages

Caging tomato plants is a very common concept, especially for the shorter and shrubbier varieties. Besides protection, the cages provide support for the plants to grow upright and prevent them from sprawling all over the garden. You can also protect your tomatoes from sunscalds and other diseases by caging them properly. 

Caging will of course keep the birds and other pests out. And finally, the cage will keep the plant contained in one place and bushy. Though there are some benefits, the caging method will only keep the big birds away, the small birds can still get on through the gaps. 

2. Bird netting

What a cage cannot do, a bird net can! If you have too many small birds visiting your garden and attacking your tomato plants, you should opt for bird netting. Opt for a go-to option and drape the net all over your tomato plants and keep them safe.

Or if you have a bird cage, use the netting around it. Bird netting is also a good option for indeterminate growers. You can put the net on a stake structure around the plant. Then drape and secure bird netting around the stakes which will protect your plant from every angle. 

Don’t worry, the netting will not trouble you as it easily camouflages with the tomato plant foliage. The blending is so good that birds oftentimes don’t get to see the fruits, and even if they do, coming in contact with the net scares them and they fly away.  

3. Bird baths

Though birds might become your enemy as they devour your tomatoes, birds do a lot of good for your garden. Thus, it’s a good idea to give them their own space rather than shooing them away from your garden. But you still have to keep them away from your tomatoes and one way of doing that is by providing them a water source like a bird to quench their thirst. 

However, if you don’t want a concrete bird bath in your garden you can make a DIY one. There are many videos and blogs online that outline simple and fun methods to make DIY bird baths. 

4. Bird feeder

You can sway away the birds from having your tomatoes by introducing a different food source. You can simply throw the wild bird seeds around your garden, away from your tomato plants. Or go the regular way and have a bird feeder stuffed with seeds, corn, and other types of bird food. 

Many people also plant sacrificial plants in the garden to protect their tomatoes. Sunflower and berry bushes are the most common options to keep birds away from your tomato plants. 

Will hummingbirds eat tomatoes on the vine?

There is no evidence to suggest that hummingbirds eat tomatoes. At the same time, there is no strong reason to think that the bird is not attracted to the plant. Though most likely, the bird will not eat tomatoes off the vines, if you do see them near your tomato vines it might be for the following reasons: 

Will hummingbirds eat tomatoes on the vine
  • Hummingbirds will fly around tomato vines if there are other flowering plants near it.
  • The birds get attracted to juicy plants and might want to have some of the fermented juice from the overripe tomatoes.
  • The insects inside the tomato plants attract hummers.
  • They eat various bugs that might be feasting on the tomato plant, for instance, arthropods and aphids. 

Why are birds eating my tomatoes?

While hummingbirds may not be eating your tomatoes, different varieties of birds are known to eat tomatoes for sure. Birds target the tomato plants during the fruiting season, that is once the tomatoes start to ripen. 

The ripe tomatoes in your garden are a good source of food and water for many birds, especially as the temperature rises. However, many birds are also attracted to the tomato seedlings and use parts of them to build their nests. 

What is eating my ripe tomatoes at night?

  1. Snails and slugs– Leaves holes on the leaf surface and slime trail. 
  2. Leaf-cutting bees: Half-moon-shaped holes on the leaf edges
  3. Rabbits: Clipped stems and cut leaves on the ground.
  4. Hornworm: Defoliated tomato plant.

There are many pests and nocturnal animals that are fond of tomatoes and might be finishing off your yield at night. Some of the top nocturnal feeders include skunks, rats, raccoons, and deer. While skunks do the least damage, like taking a small bite of along hanging fruit, deer maul the shrubs by grazing from top to down. Like skunks, raccoons and rats eat low-hanging fruits. 

What is eating my ripe tomatoes at night

Besides deer, skunks, and raccoons, other animals also eat tomatoes and you can tell which was in your garden last night by the evidence they leave. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What plants do hummingbirds not like?

Hummingbirds tend to like plants that are rich in nectar content and have tube-shaped blossoms. Keeping that in mind, hummingbirds are not crazy about marigolds, roses, lilacs, tulips, peonies, and daffodils.

Who is eating my cherry tomatoes?

Small mammals like rabbits, mice, rats, moles, and chipmunks enjoy cherry tomatoes. 

What are chewing holes in my tomatoes?

Besides the pests and animals already mentioned above, tomato fruit worms leave holes in the fruit. The holes are the diameter of a cigarette and can be deep or shallow.

What kind of birds eat tomato plants?

Many types of birds eat tomatoes. The most common ones are Cardinals, Brown Thrush, Mockingbird, and Blue Jay.

What are hummingbirds afraid of?

Hummingbirds are tiny creatures that are terrified of noise. So loud music, children’s laughter, and dog barking can scare them easily.


So, from now on, even if you find hummingbirds near your tomato plant rest assured they are not trying to damage it. Hummingbirds are attracted to tube shapes flowers with nectar and since tomato plants have neither they avoid going near them. However, other birds and pests can eat your tomatoes. But thankfully there are ways to keep them at bay. We have mentioned all of it in this article.

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