Birding/Hummingbirds

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Question
Hello. I have flowers, mostly impatiens, planted in window boxes and below in the flower bed. I usually will see a hummingbird daily, but just one at a time so I don't know if it is the same one. He or she may be around all day, but normally I only see the one late in the afternoon, or even as late as 7:30pm. I never see them in the morning. I first see them around late July. I am just wondering about when they might arrive for the season in Northern Illinois, and when they do they leave for winter and where do they go? Are they generally more active later in the day since its always late when I see one. His coloring seems to be a dark green. Would a hummingbird feeder help him or do those just get infiltrated by insects or other birds? I would like to see him more often than just once late in the day. Thank you for any information.

Answer
First, it is a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, the only kind you will see in Illinois. They will feed on flowers when the flowers produce nectar and they don't do it all the time, so that's probably why the birds are not around all the time. They arrive in Illinois in late April or early May and will leave by late October.You can put up a hummingbird feeder if you like and he/she might visit more often. And yes, other birds might visit the feeder and so might insects, but that's what happens when you offer food outdoors.  

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Roger Lederer

Expertise

Any and all about WILD birds - the science of ornithology. Information about birdwatching, ecology, conservation, migration, behavior, banding, rehabilitation, feeding, songs, binoculars, identification, and careers in ornithology. No questions about pet or caged birds, please.

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Have a PhD and over forty years as a professional ornithologist - research, teaching, author, speaker, webmaster of Ornithology.com . Have written thirty scientific papers, three bird field guides, a textbook in ecology four other bird books, the latest being "Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs". Have traveled to 100 countries watching birds and have spoken to hundreds of groups about birds.

Education/Credentials
PhD in Zoology/Ornithology; Emeritus Professor of Biological Sciences; former Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at California State University, Chico

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