Hummingbirds in Illinois are one of the most easily recognizable birds, thanks to their unique appearance and ability to fly backward and hover in one spot.
There are over three hundred species of hummingbirds, but only several are found in Illinois in North America. As a result, they can make it difficult to identify what type you’re looking at in your backyard or local park.
Still, by taking note of the bird’s appearance and behavior, you should be able to narrow down what kind of Hummingbird it is to one of these seven types of hummingbirds in Illinois that you might see in Illinois this summer.
Types of Hummingbirds in Illinois
According to the length of time, they spend in various regions, hummingbirds in Illinois often fall into a few categories. In a region, a hummingbird may be a permanent resident, a seasonal resident, or an incidental species.
Even though Illinois does not have any hummingbirds that live there all year round, you can see seasonal species and even a few unintentional visitors.
Look for distinctive marks and size variations to identify these. Additionally, you may try offering a particular food source to draw a particular species of Hummingbird.
Among the hummingbird species that are known to inhabit Illinois are:
1. Rufous Hummingbirds
The Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus Rufus) is a hummingbird breed in the western U.S. and Canada, as well as parts of the Rocky Mountains and northern Mexico.
They migrate to warmer climates during the winter months. These hummingbirds in Illinois are easily identified by their distinctive rufous tail feathers.
The hummingbirds in Illinois females are also easy to identify because they have no rufous tail feathers. It was originally believed that there were two different species, but it turns out both sexes look different, and it’s just an age difference.
The calliope hummingbirds in Illinois have the longest migration path of any other North American bird.
They migrate from Alaska down into Central America before returning to Alaska in late spring or early summer, depending on how much daylight they need for nesting.
2. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated hummingbirds(Archilochus Colubris) are the most common type seen in Illinois. These hummingbirds in Illinois are often confused with Rufous hummingbirds because both are red and have similar shapes.
However, ruby-throated hummingbirds differ by having a black stripe on the back of their heads, and they have a more slender appearance.
These small hummingbirds in Illinois weigh only an ounce or two, but they can fly up to 12 miles per hour! Their favorite place to nest is any place with easy access to nectar plants like flowers and fruit trees.
You might see these hummingbirds all over Illinois this summer, so look out for them as you explore the outdoors!
3. Allen’s Hummingbird
Allen’s Hummingbird (Selasphorus Sasin) is the most common in Illinois. These hummingbirds in Illinois are tiny and weigh between three and four grams.
The males have green backs and bright red throats, while females can be identified by their light gray backs with darker gray on their crowns.
These hummingbirds in Illinois primarily feed on insects, nectar from flowers, and tree sap. The Black-Chinned Hummingbird is the second most common type of Hummingbird in Illinois.
These hummingbirds in Illinois are also tiny and weigh around 3 to 4 grams, just like Allen’s Hummingbirds. Males have a black chin with a white stripe extending past their eye patch, visible during flight.
4. Anna’s Hummingbird
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna) is a type of Hummingbird native to the United States and can be found as far west as California and as east as Minnesota.
These hummingbirds in Illinois are often found in areas with plenty of trees, flowers, and bushes. Anna’s hummingbirds feed on nectar from various flowering plants, such as roses, honeysuckle, and redbud trees.
When it comes time to build a nest for their eggs, these hummingbirds in Illinois will look for a place with soft moss or a thick layer of leaves.
Anna’s Hummingbird can be identified by its long forked tail feathers that extend past the tail when in flight. In addition, its eyes are typically green or brown with an orange-colored bill.
5. Broad-Billed Hummingbird
Broad-Billed hummingbirds (Cynanthus Latirostris) in Illinois are the largest types of hummingbirds. It has a long, straight bill and a black head with a white stripe that stretches from its forehead to the back of its neck. Broad-Billed Hummingbirds are found throughout North America, South America, and Central America.
Some people think it’s not just one type of Hummingbird but two types because they have different colors: gray and greenish-gray.
The gray is found mostly in southern Arizona, while greenish-gray is found mainly at sea level along eastern coastlines between Texas and Maine.
Broad-Billed Hummingbirds are common in Illinois because they spend their summers at lower elevations where flowers grow year-round.
6. Black-Chinned Hummingbirds
If you live in Illinois, you might see Black-chinned hummingbirds (Archilochus Alexandri) in Illinois this summer.
These hummingbirds can often be found at flowers and feeders. They have a long, straight bill about as long as their head or longer.
These hummingbirds in Illinois tail feathers are mostly black, with just a small amount of green near their tips.
To learn more about these birds and other hummers you might see this summer, read on! Cliff-Ruby Throated Hummingbird – Archilochus colubris: Cliff Ruby-throated hummingbirds are another type of bird you might see this summer.
Cliff Ruby-throated hummingbirds are not uncommon in Illinois. They’re named for the red spot under their chins and bright red throat patch.
7. Mexican Violetear
Mexican Violetear (Colibri Thalassinus) is a tiny hummingbird flying around yearly on the east and west sides of the Mexican Gulf Coast.
They are only about 3 inches long, with slender bodies and short tails. Males have a dark purple crown and greenback, while females are green on both sides.
These hummingbirds in Illinois feed on nectar from flowers, including sugarcane blooms and morning glory, wild bergamot, fuchsia, begonia, and scarlet sage.
Mexican Violetear has been seen in northeastern Mexico, but whether they breed there or migrate during migration seasons is unclear.
They were also seen near Houston during Hurricane Harvey. The feathers of this bird are black except for its orangey-red tail feathers.
It’s always exciting when we get a new type of Hummingbirds in Illinois, and this summer, we’ve got at least seven types for you to check out.
So go out and find your favorite. There is a hummer for everyone! With so many different types, there are sure to be some that will be perfect for you.
So keep an eye out for these flitting creatures as they visit gardens throughout the state this summer!