Friday, August 15, 2008

The Clearwing Hummingbird Moth

I know I went a little overboard in posting all these pictures of the Clearwing Hummingbird Moth, but I only discovered it thanks to a spectacular picture on one of the other blogs a couple of weeks ago, and I could kick myself for not remembering which one as I would like to go back and look at it again.

So, there I was passing the very large bush outside work on Monday, when I noticed it was in full bloom and there were many flutterings going on there. I love observing butterflies and so went over not expecting to find the Hummingbird Moth. There were over a dozen of them flying from one bloom to another and as I was told later, when my friends inside said to one of my other friends, "What on earth is Denise doing?" her reply was, "She's nature watching." My other friend knows me well. I'm an adult so I stopped myself from jumping up and down with glee. The inner child in me gets very excited when I discover something I have never seen before.

The day after I made sure I had my camera with me. That same friend who made the nature watch remark was with me. We were the last ones to leave, everyone else had gone home and I introduced her to our little moth. She had never seen one before either, and so while I kept taking pictures she became a nature watcher too. Now, these photos again aren't as sharp as I would like, but I am happy with them and they will be a lovely reminder of the day I was first introduced to something new. The framed photo above is the same as the one directly below. It is the only photo I have where the wings are visible. I tried to sharpen it as much as I could and gave up, deciding to make a little piece of art instead.

The following is some information I found on the web:

"Every year about this time, puzzled backyard observers call wondering about "those tiny hummingbirds in my garden." Those hovering curiosities are actually day-flying moths known as hummingbird moths. With a wingspan of two inches, the moth hovers while sipping nectar with a long "tongue," or proboscis. Members of the family Sphingidae --the same family as tomato hornworms -- the larvae have curved tail "horns" and feed on honeysuckle. A slightly smaller relative closely resembles bumblebees."


  1. I can just imagine your excitement Denise on seeing the hummingbird moth for the first time. I first saw one a few years ago when I called to see a friend and it was on some flowers just by her front door. I rushed home to look it up - delighted to have discovered something new, for me. I have only ever seen one twice since and each time on a hot sunny day. I don't hold out much hope for this year!

    Wonderful photos again.

    A x

  2. Your photos are absolutely perfect!!!

  3. Hi Anne and Marina,

    Anne, I hope you get to see another one. I couldn't believe there were over a dozen of them on that bush outside of work, especially as I had only discovered they existed a couple of weeks before. It was an exciting event for me.

    Marina, thank you so much for popping by and leaving a comment.

    Hope you ladies have a wonderful day.

  4. Wonderful pictures! They move so much it is hard to photograph them. By all means, go overboard :-) The first time I saw one, I probably took a hundred pictures. They are so fascinating! They vary in color, too.....the ones I see look like bumblebees, but Ann in British Columbia posted one that was reddish.

  5. Thanks Mary, I thank the day someone invented the digital camera. It took the genie out of the bottle didn't it? I've looked these moths up and seen different kinds. So interesting.