April 24, 2007

A Most Welcome Visitor

Archillochus columbris
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

I used to have a neighbor, Mary, who loved hummingbirds so much that her friends would tease her that she'd stand on her head in the front garden if it would attract hummingbirds. The amazing thing is that she agreed she would !

Its my habit to rise early, especially in the summer, and go out into the garden for a stroll. One warm April day last year I spied a Ruby-throated Hummingbird ( the only species in Illinois ) whirling around my Olga Mezitt rhododendron. There's something so magical and fascinating about this tiny creature.

I am planning to plant more flowers this year to attract my tiny visitors. I often plant the annual flowering tobacco ( Nicotiana sylvestris ) and it's red tubular flowers are perfect for attracting the hummingbird. Petunias in hanging baskets or pots are also ideal. The perennials in my garden that attract them are the columbine , butterfly weed and bee balm.

I also keep a source of water nearby. For more detailed information on the Ruby-throated hummingbird and how to attract it to your garden go to : http:www.illinoisaudubonsociety.org.


  1. I have yet to see a humming bird in Chicago. And if I ever do come across one I will probably also stand on my head to get it to come back.

  2. Hi Mrbrownthumb,

    I didn't think it was that rare of a sight in Chicago.

    I sometimes even see them at Gethsemane garden center buzzing about the flowers .

  3. Coming out of lurkdom. We had lots of hummers in GA. They are aggressive little things. Now, I live in Naperville and I want to get some use out of my hummingbird feeders. Glad you posted because I didn't think that they came here and so early. I'm going to be planting some of your suggestions. Got lots of room to garden because the previous home owners didn't believe in gardening and left the landscaping all to us. (Nirvana time here, I can garden till I'm numb, with all the sun and space!)

  4. Hi debbiekinil,

    Thanks for stopping by. Hope you'll get some little visitors from your feeders and plants this summer.

    It's great that you've got the time and space to garden. LOL !


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