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updated: 9/21/2012 9:43 AM

Drought forcing hummingbirds into suburban backyard gardens

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  • A female 3-inch ruby-throated hummingbird puts the brakes on approaching a non-perch feeder. The wireless tie-clip microphone was attached by Daily Herald photographer George LeClaire.

    A female 3-inch ruby-throated hummingbird puts the brakes on approaching a non-perch feeder. The wireless tie-clip microphone was attached by Daily Herald photographer George LeClaire.
    Photos by George LeClaire/gleclaire@dailyherald.co

  • A ruby-throated hummingbird feeds from a non-perch feeder, beating its wings 60 times per second to stay in place.

      A ruby-throated hummingbird feeds from a non-perch feeder, beating its wings 60 times per second to stay in place.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • A ruby-throated hummingbird feeds from a feeder.

      A ruby-throated hummingbird feeds from a feeder.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • A female ruby-throated hummingbird flies upward to red-salvia flowers in Glenview.

      A female ruby-throated hummingbird flies upward to red-salvia flowers in Glenview.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • The hummingbird hangs seemingly motionless.

      The hummingbird hangs seemingly motionless.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • The sugar water-filled feeder is made from a 3-inch glass soil tester tube and a plastic flower.

      The sugar water-filled feeder is made from a 3-inch glass soil tester tube and a plastic flower.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • A ruby-throated hummingbird approaches a feeder.

      A ruby-throated hummingbird approaches a feeder.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
 

Suburban residents may have noticed all the ruby-throated hummingbirds flitting around their backyards this summer. "The drought has caused a reduction in their natural food supply, so if they're looking for food in forest preserves and can't find it, they'll gravitate toward people's backyards, which are usually kept well-watered and full of food," said Tim Joyce, of Wild Birds Unlimited.

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