Photo by Rebecca Oliver (Carolina Sphinx)
Our summer was hot so I did my garden watering in the late evening and into dusk. This year I have had an unusually large amount of Hummingbirds sipping nectar from my flowers and feeders [which I increased because of the population explosion, all the original birds had successful broods it seemed].
One evening I was losing daylight fast, there was barely enough light left to see, when I am startled by a loud whirring sound very close by. I had become used to the hummingbirds feeding around me but never had one come so near and stay so long. After a few moments of searching I was able to see it moving rapidly from bloom to bloom. To my surprise it allowed me to move up right next to it for a close look, as though it could not see me [and being without my glasses I needed a close look but still could not make it out clearly].
I began yelling for my husband, "come look, there is something here that looks and acts like a hummingbird but I don't think it is". Being the good husband he is, he hustled right over. "I have heard of these moths but never seen one. They only come out at dark and are huge". he said, and then began to describe it's antenna [which I couldn't even see] and proboscis [which I had mistaken for a curved bill].
The next evening I was ready with both my glasses and camera. It showed up again, flitting among the four-o'clock and the hummingbirds. Traveling much to rapidly for me to get a shot until it discovered the plastic flower feeder. There it stayed to drink and drink and drink. While I shot and shot and shot. It continued showing up for the next few weeks, same time same place. Started out in the back yard then moved to the front.
Wanting to identify this moth I took my photos to our local Texas Forest Service agency. The young man there complimented me on my photos. He liked the moths motion being seen, as do I.
See more of Rebecca's hummingbirdmoth photos here !: