Hummingbirds Leave Their Winter Homes For Illinois This Month
I know, mid-February usually doesn't bring thoughts of spring happenings to mind, but on a February day that's going to top out at over 50 degrees, I can't help but look forward a little bit.
It really doesn't matter what Rockford area weather is right now, these tiny birds are taking flight right now for their long migration north to (and through) Illinois.
Many Hummingbirds Spend Their Winters In Central America Mexico, But When February Comes, They Go
Unlike other birds that make the migration trip together, hummingbirds do it solo. They fly alone, often on the same path they took earlier in their life, and they really fly low, just above tree tops or water. Young hummingbirds have to learn as they go, because they navigate without parental guidance.
During migration, a hummingbird's heart beats up to 1,260 times a minute, and its wings flap 15 to 80 times a second. Research indicates a hummingbird can travel as much as 23 miles in one day. However those that make the 500 mile flight from Florida to the Yucatan do it in 18-22 hours non-stop, depending on wind conditions.
The Hummingbird Experts Out There Say Early To Mid April Is When We'll See Hummingbirds In The Rockford Area
Since migrating hummingbirds fly by day so they can see flowers on the ground and take their breaks during the overnight, it does take a little while before they get here. If you've always wanted to make your yard one of their pit stops, you should think about putting out your hummingbird feeder(s) around the 1st of April.