For many nature lovers, the arrival of hummingbirds to Illinois signals the start of spring. These tiny birds are beloved for their vibrant colors and their ability to hover in mid-air. But when exactly do these feathered friends arrive in our state? Let’s take a look at some important information about the arrival of hummingbirds in Illinois.
When Do Hummingbirds Arrive In Illinois?
Hummingbirds usually begin arriving in Illinois in mid-April or early May, depending on the weather conditions that year. They are typically in Illinois from May to October, according to the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. Some species may hummingbirds migrate as late as mid-May, while others may not be seen until June or July. The exact timing depends on several factors including temperature, precipitation, and food availability.
In general, hummingbirds travel from south to north across the United States each spring during migration season, so those living further south tend to see them first.
As they get closer to their breeding areas, they become more active and can be spotted sipping nectar from hummingbird feeders and plants with brightly colored flowers. Once they reach our state, they will stay here for about six weeks before continuing their journey northward toward Canada and Alaska.
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As the weather warms into summer, hummingbirds will become abundant in Illinois, particularly around urban centers and residential medium-sized city backyards with hummingbird nectar feeders, providing a key resource for hummingbird populations.
The Best Time To See Hummingbirds
If you’re looking to attract hummingbirds and would like to know the best time to spot them in Illinois, then planning a visit during late spring or early summer is your best bet. At this time of year, they tend to be more active and visible because they are still full of energy after a long journey and eager to find food sources. They can also be seen at bird feeders throughout the summer months when temperatures are hot and food sources become scarcer.
Hummingbird Migration Routes
Hummingbird migration routes vary slightly from year to year but generally follow similar patterns over time. From South America and Mexico, most species fly northward through Central America and up into Texas and then eastward across the Great Plains states before finally reaching our area of Illinois.
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Along the way, they rely heavily on nectar sources such as flowers for energy so we as homeowners or gardeners need to provide plenty of flowering plants that produce nectar for them along with clean water sources such as bird baths or shallow dishes filled with water for drinking or bathing purposes.
Species Of Hummingbirds That Are known To visit Illinois
The rufous hummingbird is a western species that has been known to visit Illinois on rare occasions. It typically arrives in mid-April and leaves by early October. The rufous hummingbird is the smallest hummer found in North America and it has bright orange-red feathers across its throat and back. They have a reputation for being very aggressive territorial birds and they will often chase away other hummers from their feeding areas.
Ruby Throated Hummingbirds
The ruby-throated hummingbird is the most common species of hummer found in Illinois and it typically arrives in late April or early May. These birds have distinctive ruby-colored throats and they tend to be more passive than rufous hummers during the breeding season.
Male Ruby Throated Hummingbirds are easily distinguishable, as they have a stunning bronze-green back with striking emerald-colored wings and, of course, a brilliant flash of ruby in their throats. Ruby-throats usually leave Illinois by late September or early October as they head south toward Mexico for winter hibernation.
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Allen’s hummingbirds are similar in size and appearance to ruby throat hummers but can be distinguished by their greenish backs with reddish sides and tails. Allen’s hummers are much less common than ruby throats but can still be seen throughout parts of Illinois during spring migration season (usually April through June).
They also tend to linger longer than other species before heading south for winter; many don’t leave until late November or early December.
Broad Billed Hummingbird
The broad-billed hummingbird is an even rarer sight in Illinois than Allen’s hummers; sightings of these birds have historically been limited to only a few locations within the state, such as Chicago Botanic Garden or Starved Rock State Park.
Broadbills usually arrive sometime between mid-May and mid-August depending on weather conditions, though they may stay longer if there is an abundant food supply available (they love nectar!). They usually migrate southward when temperatures begin to drop around October or November.
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Anna’s hummingbird is a year-round resident of Illinois and can be seen throughout the state from spring until late fall. Anna’s hummers are larger than other species with bright green backs, pale undersides, and distinctive iridescent pink throats.
These birds stay close to their breeding grounds so they can be found in gardens or parks that have a reliable source of nectar. They are also very territorial, so if you see Anna’s hummingbird in your yard, chances are it will remain there for most of the season.
Illinois is a great place to spot some of North America’s most beautiful and unique birds. From the majestic bald eagle to the colorful ruby-throated hummingbird, there are plenty of opportunities for bird watchers or naturalists alike to glimpse these incredible creatures in action. Spring migration season is especially exciting as it brings us an influx of hummingbirds from South America and Mexico as they make their way to our area for the summer months.
By providing food sources such as nectar and clean water, we can ensure that our skies remain full of colorful hummingbirds during migration season and that our gardens remain alive and vibrant with these tiny flying gems all year round. So make sure to plant some flowers and fill up your bird baths for these special visitors!
Good luck with your hummingbird-watching adventures! Happy birding!