One would think that hummingbirds would be more likely to appear tropical areas, but Illinois is lucky to host one native species of hummingbird: the ruby-throated hummingbird. It is a very small bird, often growing to no more than 4 inches long. One can be recognized by its green back feathers and white undersides, and the male of this species has a red patch on his throat, hence the name. The males also are a bit smaller than the females, and possess a forked tail, in comparison to the females' rounded tail.
These birds migrate up to the Midwest to breed during the spring and summer. They stay in southern Mexico during the winter, and their migration includes crossing the immense Gulf of Mexico. Hummingbirds are able to make themselves twice as massive to accomplish this journey so they don't run out of fuel. Hummingbirds need to eat a lot as it is, because of their incredibly fast metabolism, so this migration is certainly an incredible feat. This fast metabolism enables them to beat their wings much more quickly than other bird species, giving them the ability to hover and fly backwards.
Hummingbirds are extraordinary birds, and many people want to attract them to their yards. They are a rare sight, but it is definitely possible to have the occasional hummingbird in your yard. There are special hummingbird feeders you can buy if you want to attract these birds, and these feeders are often red; hummingbirds are attracted to bright colored flowers when they seek out nectar, specifically plants like trumpetflower. Sugar water can be placed in these feeders to simulate nectar, and once the hummingbirds have discovered these feeders, they will keep coming back. These feeders may attract unwanted guests like bees and wasps, but (to me) it's worth it for the hummingbirds.