The Buzz

Quiz: Test your hummingbird braininess

Ruby-throated hummingbird. (Photo by Chad Merda)

Of the nearly 10,000 bird species in the world, hummingbirds are definitely some of the most compelling. In spite of being small in stature, they pack a wallop in multiple categories including amazing flying ability, incredible memories, voracious appetites and a willingness to fight off just about any bird that tries to move in on their territory.

In northern Illinois, ruby-throated hummingbirds usually start making their way into the area beginning in April and stay until about the end of September. These tenacious creatures migrate each spring to breed, returning to the warmer climates of Central America and Southern Mexico as winter approaches. The trip in either direction can be a demanding journey, especially for those who choose to fly over the Gulf of Mexico. This route equates to 18-22 hours of non-stop flying before reaching land approximately 500 miles later on the other side of the gulf.

So, while these bright and beautiful birds can be seen in the area, what can you do to make their stay here a good one? Hang your feeders, plant some nectar-producing native flowers, and prepare yourself by taking our quiz. The more you know, the more you’ll appreciate these miniature but mighty marvels.

Note: If on a mobile device, click here to take the quiz.

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