Big City Tourists Discover World’s Smallest Hummingbird!

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The hummingbird hawk-moth … Its long proboscis and its hovering behaviour, accompanied by an audible humming noise, make it look remarkably like a hummingbird while feeding on flowers. – Wikipedia

38 Replies to “Big City Tourists Discover World’s Smallest Hummingbird!”

  1. Excellent captures! I used to have them things buzzing me where we lived in Utah. They’re a bit spooky as they hover around you after dark with that strange sound.

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    1. Thank you Wendy. It surprises me when I see very blue flowers. Those here were planted as a border around a very long reflecting pool.

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    1. Thank you Susan! You remind me of the line from Alice Walker’s Color Purple — “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

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    1. Neither did I! I was astonished to discover that this was a moth and not a hummingbird. I thought hummingbirds were the only flying creature that can go in reverse. Like I said in the title though – I’ve lived so long in a big city – what do I know?

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    1. The blue flowers were very bright, indeed. But the hummingbird moth was easy to spot because it was moving so fast & flitting from bloom to bloom. It was quite exciting.

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    1. Thank you! It seems that there is a different species of hummingbird moth in North America, but I have never seen one – except on this day in Spain.

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  2. I saw one a few years ago, flying around my butterfly bush. I had no clue what it was. Kind of fuzzy and fat like a moth, but it was acting like a hummingbird. I thought it was hummingbird moth. Why is it called a “hawk” moth. I would never have mistaken it for a hawk!

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  3. Nothing I’ve read explains why it’s called a hawk-moth. But there are some really fascinating facts [here] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawk-moth on Wikipedia.
    For example:
    – this hovering capability has evolved only four times in nectar feeders: in hummingbirds, certain bats, hoverflies, and these sphingids.
    – Sphingids are some of the faster flying insects; some are capable of flying at over 12 miles per hour
    – members of the tribe Choerocampini have hearing organs on their heads

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    1. Thank you! I took sooooo many pictures of this busy moth, thinking all the while it was a type of hummingbird I hadn’t seen before.

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