NATURE KNOWLEDGE: Hummingbird Moth

Hummingbird Moth

What an amazing creature is the Hummingbird Moth. I’ll never forget where I was when I spied one for the first time. It was “buzzing” around my woodland retreat. I literally chased it around my flower beds all day. Capturing it, on camera, was a chore. Fast and shy are these delicate natural copy-cat marvels.

I felt like I was privilege to something very uncommon. That is, until I looked them up and found them to be the opposite. The above photos were marked July 22nd in my archives. Your best chance to notice them is knowing that they exist. They drink nectar from flowers with the same straw-like tongue as butterflies. They especially like berry bushes in bloom and I believe it is safe to assume, they are pollinators too. Unlike most moths, they are out among the flowers on warm, bright, sunny days.

It is exceptionally easy to mistake them for hummingbirds. That fact gives them some protection from predators like bats and birds.

There are so many delights to find when we take a close look at nature first-hand. I posted the video (that I found) of one, for a real show.

 hairs from the end of the abdomen look a lot like feathers. The wings of this moth are mostly clear, sometimes with some red near the body.


I enjoy watching these spiders. Crab spiders , well, resemble crabs. They have longer front legs and stick them out. Their bodies are flat too.

The one above is a Flower Spider. 200 species of crab spiders, including this one, live in the United States. The coolest thing about them is that they are “free-living” spiders. No webs for these guys. They just wait to ambush prey while sitting on flowers. Although their jaws (chelicerae) are very small, they have potent venom to immobilize their prey and eat at their leisure.

Goldenrod Spider (belongs to Crab Spider family)

These spiders are able to change color over several days. Of course, I assume the color is supposed to help them blend in. Think the Goldenrod Spider (above) is on the wrong flower? What a show-off!

The crab spider (below) has the right idea.

Look for these amazing hunters on daisies and other wildflowers. (Especially if Mom or Dad tends to be a little creeped out over spiders. Check those wild bouquets!)

I am especially fond of “free-living” spiders. Jumping spiders and Wolf spiders are among them. These guys turn to face you as an adversary even with their size disadvantage!  Gotta admire their spunk 🙂

Remember: You can click on these photos (more than once) for a better look.