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Home » Birds, Illinois » Ready for Hummingbirds

Ready for Hummingbirds

Posted on Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 at 10:10 am CET

We’ve been following this Hummingbird Migration Map that shows the migration of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. The small birds winter between southern Mexico and northern Panama and they start moving north as early as January. They cross the Gulf of Mexico nonstop for up to 500 miles and once in North America they migrate at an average rate of about 20 miles per day. We’ve been following their migration on the map since they entered the United States in late February. Today we saw that they have been reported here in northern Illinois, so we rushed out and set up our Hummingbird feeder:


Hummingbirds can hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their wings 12–90 times per second. They get the energy they need to maintain their high metabolism from flower nectar and sugar water from feeders. We’ve filled our feeder with 1 part sugar and 4 parts water, which is the magic formula. The red feeder has small holes in the shape of flowers that the hummingbirds drink from.


Of course, there’s no guarantee that we’ll get them here at our new house, but we can at least try.

Here are some nice hummingbird pictures from others. Hopefully we’ll be able to post our own pictures soon.

Quick Stop
Photo by redow

Hummer Tongue
Photo by illinesmith

He Has Wings !!
Photo by vtpeacenik

Photo by *~Dawn~*

Two Birds With One Stone
Photo by Amyn Kassam

Here’s part of the map that shows that they were reported here this week:

Hummingbird migration map


Apr 27, 2009
8:05 am
#1 Karen P wrote:

Hi! Just to let you know that I saw a hummingbird yesterday, Sunday, April 26 at 11:30 a.m. in my backyard feeder. I am in northwest Illinois in rural Orangeville (Stephenson County) — out in the country. One also came back this morning.

May 4, 2009
11:52 pm
#2 Tami M wrote:

I live in Sandwich, IL (Dekalb county), outside of town. We’ve already spotted Hummers, fluttering where I usually hang my feeders. It’s usually after Mother’s Day before we see them, so I didn’t expect them for about another week. Today (5/4), I hung my feeders and expect “company” tomorrow. We start with one or two hummers through May, but that number grows rapidly from May through September. Last year, I counted 15 hummers fighting over two-feeders at one time. This year, I’ve added more feeders!

May 12, 2009
5:09 pm
#3 Dawn Patton wrote:

Put up a feeder in Granite City on May 9, hope it was not too late to get them to find it. Also put one up in St. Peters, they are always here every year, alot of them it seems in Missouri.

Jun 9, 2009
6:28 pm
#4 Destiny wrote:

I live in Belleville, Illinois; put up a feeder last week and had a pair of hummingbirds within a day! We’re still trying to figure out the species.

Jun 29, 2009
10:45 pm
#5 Carrie wrote:

I live in South Elgin, Illinois and put up a feeder about a week ago (June 20th) and have had hummingbirds visiting the feeder almost everyday. It’s really hard to tell if they are female or male.

Sep 12, 2009
9:09 am
#6 thomas wrote:

I live in cinci. ohio — it is sept 12 2009 and i havnt seen my hummers(4/5) in several days. Have they started the migration due to the cool weather we are having?

Sep 14, 2009
8:47 am
#7 Amy wrote:

Hi Thomas, I found this info on

“Ruby-throats aren’t well adapted to cold temperatures; they have a tough time below the mid-20s (F) […]. To avoid the cold, and the scarcity of food when flowers stop blooming and insects stop flying, they go south. Some adult males start migrating south as early as mid-July, but the peak of southward migration for this species is late August and early September. By mid-September, essentially all of the Ruby-throated at feeders are migrating through from farther north, and not the same individuals seen in the summer.”

We were recently at a hummingbird festival here in the Chicago area and were advised to keep our feeders up until November, as migrating hummingbirds could be passing through until that time.

Oct 11, 2009
6:53 pm
#8 Ann wrote:

I live a little west of Chicago. We are having an unusually cold October. My husband woke up this morning (October 11, 2009) to 27 degrees F. I was so shocked to see a hummingbird still at my feeder, and guarding it all day since I saw it two days before. (I did not notice any hummingbirds for weeks, and did not even bother to change the feeders for weeks. We’ve been getting a lot of cold, dark, rainy weather almost everyday).

This hummingbird occasionally would chase away a second hummingbird. There could be more than two hummingbirds, but I only saw one or two at a time. I took pictures of the hummingbird at the feeders and low apple tree branches until about 6:30pm tonight (almost pitch black). It seemed extremely tame, and ignored me most of the time.

The little girl hummingbird was very busy chasing small bugs and preening itself. Just hope it/they will go south soon.

Does anyone know what is the normal time for Chicagoland hummingbirds to migrate south?

Oct 11, 2009
6:57 pm
#9 Ann wrote:

If you enjoy photos of Hummingbirds and other birds, do feel free to check out my bird photos on Flickr:

Oct 27, 2009
10:19 am
#10 Craig wrote:

I live in Springfield in central Illinois and spotted a female hummingbird in my backyard over the weekend (October 24th). I put my feeder back outside (I took them in in mid September)and again today October 28th I saw another female hummingbird (same?) again! It has been quite cool and rainy and I never expected to see hummingbirds here so very late in the year!

Oct 27, 2009
12:06 pm
#11 Wolfstad wrote:

Craig, she could a migrant who is just on her way south and stopped in your yard for a few days. A hummingbird bander told us that he keeps his feeders out until Thanksgiving every year as migrants will still be coming through until that time, so I guess it’s normal and not too cold for them.

Mar 15, 2010
12:22 pm
#12 Doyle wrote:

Hi Arthur,

I know this post is from last year, but thought you might enjoy getting a little closer to your hummingbirds this year . . . here is a 2 min youtube clip of a Wearable Hummingbird Feeder . . . hummingbirds feed right in front of your eyes about an inch above your nose . . . Enjoy

May 5, 2010
7:53 am
#13 Norwegian wrote:

A red ringed hummingbird came to one of my feeds today! Yeah! My first one! Ladd, IL.

May 19, 2010
8:06 pm
#14 Paul Martin wrote:

To anyone!
I would like to know when is a good time to start setting out the Humming Bird feeder and is there any particular solution other than sugar and water that would be good for them.
Last year there was a yellow and black guy flying around for a couple of days. Anyone any idea of what type it is? Also they seem very fearless of people – is that common?

May 20, 2010
2:14 pm
#15 Amy wrote:

Paul, it depends on where you live. Check out this year’s map at to see if the hummingbirds have reached your area. Keep in mind that map is just for sightings of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds – your yellow and black bird sounds like a different species. Hummingbirds that are used to feeding at back yard feeding stations can become habituated to humans and seem fearless, yes.

May 30, 2010
8:18 pm
#16 mollie wrote:

Recently moved from CA where I had at leat 6hummers almost year round. I now live near Pontiac
Illinois on the outskirts of town surrounded pretty much by corn and soy fields is it even worth trying to set up feeders. We have bushes that attract hummers but all we have seen is Starlings and red wing black birds we do have two Pheasants but not the same. I only wish now that I had taken pic in CA. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Mollie

Sep 11, 2010
2:08 pm
#17 Darlene wrote:

I live in Romeoville Il and this is the first year for Hummingbirds. I have two of them and pray that I will have them next year.I sit in the morning and have coffee and watch the., but they do not eat at the same time.We had a pipe linen oil leak and I did not see the this orning. I hope they are ok

Sep 23, 2011
1:19 pm
#18 jim wrote:

I have two feeders on my front porch and I sit about 4-6 feet away and watch the hummers feed, I just now came in to send thi comment ( 2:15 p. m.} the temp. is about 70 deg. and partly cloudy.
the date is Sept. 24, 2011

Sep 26, 2011
6:07 am
#19 Michelle wrote:

Darlene, if you were faithful about feeding them, the same ones will come to your yard next year! Just keep feeding them!
And yes Mollie, it’s worth it. I have 3 feeders and usually get 15-20 hummingbirds that nest in my yard. I have tons of pine trees too, and that helps.

Jun 23, 2012
10:46 am
#20 Sharon Huisman wrote:

I am looking to find out when the humming birds come. I know the beginning of Spring, But what about June ,July, Aug,and Sep. If you know, please E-mail me backThank you

Jun 23, 2012
10:47 am
#21 Sharon Huisman wrote:

I was wondering if you know what mo0nths hummingbirds come. I live in Ill.

Jul 18, 2012
7:08 am
#22 kathy wrote:

hi i reside near 8o and ridge rd i saw 1 hummer in 5 yrs

Aug 11, 2012
8:30 am
#23 Bogusia wrote:

I just saw a hummingbird out on my back yard by my japanese rose bush (Aug 11). I live in Schaumburg IL (cook county) and I had no idea they live around here.

Aug 17, 2012
7:22 am
#24 Patsy wrote:

I live in Effingham IL. crossroad of interstates 70 and 57. I feed Humming birds every year. This year was so very dry so have seen many Humming birds, at times 6 maybe more at one feeder. I have one in our front yard and one at back. We have Rose of Sharon Trees that have beautiful blooms that attract the bird. I have refilled the feeder two sometimes three times a month.

Sep 10, 2012
3:37 pm
#25 Sherry wrote:

I live between Cowden & Herrick IL. I have 6 to 8 hummingbirds every summer. One lady told me feeders have to be taken down by early Sept. or the birds won’t migrate. I never thought of the ones coming from farther North, so I plan to keep mine out longer this year. I love watching them. They do like red. Before my husband passed away we did a lot of camping & he wore a red billed cap, the hummingbirds would come right up to his hat & hoover over it. Such beautiful birds.

Sep 16, 2012
5:32 pm
#26 Nadine wrote:

Live in Lombard, IL (25 miles west of Chicago). A green hummingbird has been visiting our feeder all week long. SO EXCITING!!!

Sep 19, 2012
9:56 am
#27 Lois wrote:

Hadn’t seen “my” hummers for 2 whole days – then early this morning one was at the feeder. Of course I don’t know if this is one of ours or one passing through. Leaving my feeder up!

Mar 22, 2013
5:22 am
#28 Hilda wrote:

Sometimes we would have 10 to15 hummers in our yard. I haven’t seen any this year, but it is early. I live in Pensacola Fl

Dec 18, 2015
7:32 am
#29 kdutton wrote:

It is Dec. 18, Lewistown Il, temp 25. I have a humming bird that is still here feeding. I think it is a ruby throated female. Am I doing harm by leaving and tending the feeder against freezing? I can’t imagine her surviving the entire winter. She has no inclination to leave. Help

Dec 18, 2015
7:26 pm
#30 Wolfstad wrote:

You are not stopping her from migrating. You can keep feeding her. There are some tips here about keeping the feeder accessible: If you are in a Christmas Bird Count circle, local counters would appreciate knowing about your bird.

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