Mystery in the Skies
Hummingbird moths often catch people off guard, leaving them either puzzled or amazed at the sight in front of them. The name hummingbird moth is a general term that applies to several insects in the sphinx family.
These moths fly and feed like hummingbirds, but if you take a closer look, you'll see that they are very different. For example, hummingbird moths have antennae and their bodies are spindle-shaped.
Many readers have written to us sharing their own tales of the first time they saw a hummingbird moth, but others just wanted to know what they were.
The hummingbird clearwing is one of the most common. Fred Martin saw one in his Keen, New Hampshire backyard.
"This moth came and went as fast as a hummingbird," Fred says. "I had no idea what it was when I saw it."
Charlotte Stevens' grandson took similar pictures with her camera in her West Burke, Vermont yard. Once the photos were developed, she realized he caught a hummingbird moth and a butterfly feeding on the same blooms.
Wayne Secord of Cedar Springs, Michigan was certain he saw a hummingbird, but it turned out be a white-lined sphinx, a close relative of the hummingbird moth.
"It allowed my family and me to get just a few feet away while I took pictures," he says. "It was a treat for us."