Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wednesday Explorers Club ~ Hummingbird Moths

The other day the teasel were busy with bumble bees. There, hovering with them was something else. It hovered sort of like a hummingbird, but the black and yellow stripes made it look like a huge bumble bee - plus hummingbirds don't have antennae.

It's a hummingbird moth, also called hummingbird hawk moth. Look closely and you can see a tiny tail fanned out beneath it. And if you hold still, you can hear them hum, just like a hummingbird (though a moth has never buzzed me yet). Around here they tend to visit monarda and teasels, and they also like phlox, honeysuckle, and verbena.

Here's a video showing a hummingbird moth collecting nectar

Want to learn more? Check out this article by the US Forest Service, and a wonderful collection of photos here.

As you head out on explorations this week, remember: things are not always what they seem. Slow down, look closer - and take notes.

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