There is only one species of Hummingbird in the Chicago aea, the Ruby Throated Hummingbird. They spend their winters in Central America and arrive here in May. Throughout the summer, though, there was almost no sign of them in our garden this year.

Ruby Throated Hummingbird
Ruby Throated Hummingbird 

That changed about 10 days ago. Since then, we see hummingbirds almost every time we approach the front steps. Usually they are feeding at the containers stuffed with Hummingbird-attracting annuals.

DSC_0797 Hummingbird

Using the sports setting and a zoom lens, Judy got some pretty amazing photographs. These tiny guys move around so fast that they are a blur much of the time. Of course, that is part of what makes them so fascinating – plus their ability to hover like tiny helicopters.

Hummingbird feeding at Cigar Plant.

Cigar Plant (Cuphea ignea) is a big hummingbird favorite. 

Hummingbird feeding at Star Flower.
Hummingbird feeding at Star Flower.

They also really like Star Flower (Pentas lanceolata).

Hummingbird feeding on Tithonia
Hummingbird feeding on Tithonia

And like the butterflies, they are very fond of Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia lanceolata). 

DSC_0799 hummingbird

After a while I thought the hummingbirds were getting tired of having their pictures taken. Is he mooning us here?

Despite this suspected rudeness, it’s been exciting having the hummingbirds around. 

Have you seen hummingbirds in your garden this year?

65 Comments on “Hummingbirds!”

  1. Hi Jason. These are great shots. We have had hummingbirds at our feeder and flowers all summer. We also only have the ruby throated ones here. We have seen a marked increase in the feeding the last week and they fatten up for their trip south. Amazing little birds!

  2. As the Will Co .Audubon birders know there is a large (hummingbird) moth that fools a lot of non-birders into thinking they have discovered a hummingbird. We sometimes get more than just the Ruby-throated in our area. When one of these western visitors shows up, ” birders” are really attracted to the garden so honored by this rare visitor. To attract these visitors plant more flowers with long`neck blossoms, preferably in reddish tones. You might also add hummingbird feeders. Ccheck out the Illinois Audubon Society’s website for location of “banding” sites. Maryann Gossmann, Montgomery COS, IAS (Will & Morgan Co.chapters)

  3. Kudos to Judy for some fantastic photos! About the only decent hummingbird photos I manage to get are while they are at the feeders–in other words, not moving:) We’ve had quite a few hummingbirds all summer long, but they really have been active the last week or so. I think they must be fueling up for their migration soon. ‘Black and Blue’ Salvia and a rosy salvia called ‘Wendy’s Wish’ seem to be their favorite here.

  4. Judy got some superb shots indeed! Oh my!!! I have seen many as well but I do not have the skills like Judy so I have yet to capture one so beautifully. They come to my garden for my annual Wendy’s Wish. Such a joy when I can spot one to show the beans! I just taught my oldest bean how many times their wings flap per second….she always reminds me that they lay the smallest eggs! So fun…beautiful photos!!! Have a great weekend Jason! Nicole

  5. Great hummingbird shots! It is so exciting to have hummers in the garden. They really liven up the place! We have hummingbirds from early spring to late fall. We usually have one or two pairs mate in spring but fall is the peak time for hummers in our garden. Our local hummer organization said that you can estimate the number of hummers in your garden by multiplying the number you see at one time by 6.

  6. We’ve had hummingbirds at the feeders and flowers since May. I’m surprised you haven’t seen any until now. Maybe they’ve been there, but now they’re more plentiful as the ones from the north migrate through? But, I agree with the others–Judy is a very talented photographer! Those little buggers move fast–especially when they’re hovering at the flowers. I only seem to have luck when they’re resting at the feeders. ;^)

  7. I’ve had quite a few here this summer. They loved the bee balm under my kitchen window, and of course the hanging fuchsia on the front porch. Since the bee balm is pretty much done now, they’ve moved over to the “vegetable” garden and seem to favor the zinnias. Last night I was in that garden picking some tomatoes when a hummer buzzed my head! Funny! Lastly, my Crown of Thorns plant is summering on the front porch, in the far, shady corner, and I’ve frequently seen a hummingbird visit it!

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