Have you seen this ‘bird-like’ insect?

It was just a few evenings ago, when I was called outside to look at something. She was very excited for me to see it….. whatever it was.

Once outside, I stood in awe. Hovering and humming among the beautiful flowers were…..bird-like insects, called Hummingbird Moths.

Never before had she seen so many at one time! There were maybe a dozen of them flying about.

I ran inside to get my camera, knowing that I was competing with the fading sun. I just had to give it a shot (pun intended).

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photo by ren

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photo by ren
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photo by ren

How enthralling this was…. as I stood among these bird-moths. I was obviously in their way as they would nearly collide with me on their way to the nectar.  They were fast and hard to film, as they darted among the blossoms.

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photo by ren

Hummingbird Moths are members of the sphinx moth family, with one big difference…. Hummingbird Moths fly by day. Most moths fly by night. This ‘flock’ that we were admiring, were a bit behind their daylight schedule.

The wings of the Hummingbird Moth are clear with a black or brown border. They are nearly invisible when beating, yet make a distinct humming sound, like a hummingbird.

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photo by ren
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photo by ren

At first glance, they appear to be hummingbirds. Upon closer inspection, you notice they are much smaller, about one and a half inches long.  A hummingbird is about three inches long.

The Hummingbird Moths have a long proboscis, which protrudes like a beak, for reaching the nectar.

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borrowed from resource link below

This image is a male Hummingbird Moth. His fanned out tail is what distinguishes its gender.

Thank you for allowing me to share this experience.
Have you ever encountered a Hummingbird Moth?
Do you have any unusual critter sighting to share?

ren

 

Resources: Hummingbird Moth (Clearwing Moth) MassAudobon.org
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