A sure sign of spring! Hummingbirds return to Virginia, Maryland region

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are returning to our region for breeding season.

The exotic little birds have been spotted in Southeastern parts of Virginia, according to Hummingbird Central and Twitter users.

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Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the only species of hummingbird that breeds in eastern North America.

(Stock Photo)

How can you hear if one is nearby?

A passing hummingbird will sound like a buzzing bee, the sound is generated by their rapidly flapping wings that beat over 50 times per second, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

“Despite their incredibly fast speed, they can stop their flight instantly and hover.” DGIF wrote in a blog post, “They are even able to adjust their flight path up, down, sideways or backwards with amazingly precise control.”

Since they are very small in size, to support this energy level a hummingbird will typically gain 25-40% of their body weight before they start migration. 

They typical eat once every 10-15 minutes and can visit anywhere between 1,000 to 2,000 flowers per day.

If you wish to attract the precious birds to your yard, DGIF suggest planting their preferred native flowers which include: Trumpet Creeper, Trumpet Honeysuckle, Cardinal Flower, Bee-balm, and Wild Bergamot.

You can always use a humming feeder and fill it with a sugar-water mix of 1/4 cup table sugar per 1 cup water—just be sure to change the water before it becomes cloudy.

If you wish to keep track of their migration or report a sighting, you can always visit www.hummingbirdcentral.com