(Photo by Chad Merda)
For those of you eagerly anticipating the arrival of ruby-throated hummingbirds, the wait is over. We have our first reported sightings in Will County.
Thanks to a map from Journey North — a project run by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum — we've been following these amazing birds' northern migration, getting more and more excited as they have gotten closer. First when they hit the southern United States, and then Illinois.
Now, they're dropping into our own Will County neighborhoods.
The first reported sighting from Journey North's citizen scientists came on April 15 in Joliet with a hummingbird reported at a nectar feeder.
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According to last year's map, they're ahead of schedule. The first ruby-throated hummingbird wasn't reported in Will County until April 28.
Another sighting on Monday was reported on eBird, this time in Lockport.
We haven't seen them return yet to Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township, but when they do, it's a very popular viewing spot. We often get questions about whether or not the hummingbirds have arrived and, while we can look to past trends, the project from Journey North eliminates a lot of guesswork for the current year.
Keep in mind that ruby-throated hummingbirds will migrate all the way up into Canada so, even if you spot one locally, that doesn't mean that particular bird is going to be sticking around and instead is just making a pit stop.
While you wait for their arrival in your yard ...
Go ahead and enjoy this:
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