Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's A Bird! It's A Bee! It's A...

Moth?



While apparently not terribly uncommon, I've not seen one before. My first thought was a tiny hummingbird. It flew like a hummingbird and other than the lack of current and incessant yelling and fighting amongst the youngsters right now, it sounded like a hummingbird buzzing around.



Then I thought maybe a bee.



Surely that's some sort of bee.



Nope. It's a Hummingbird Clearwing moth.



I've left the file sizes a little larger so, if you are interested, you can double click on each picture for a closer view. Look at the super long proboscis - sometimes it's rolled up and some pictures are fully extended sucking up nectar. Looks like it collects pollen too.

Another interesting thing is how he or she braces both front legs against the flower while eating. That's a defense against something that might try to grab it. You can see that in picture #4.

I'd originally thought the teeny tiny spider web I found out in the hay shed (hopefully still there so I can grab some pictures for Sunday Stills this week) was going to be my cool find of the day.

Usurped.

16 comments:

Loco Lindy said...

We've seen these around before (but not lately, perhaps don't have the right flowers to attract them), fascinating little creatures! Great photos, as usual.

I'm gonna tell Mom! said...

Capturing those images couldn't have been easy. I'm not sure if this is what I saw- it was something very similar but in the evening. I'll have to do some investigating to find out if these guys are nocturnal.
kim

thecrazysheeplady said...

Yes, there were all sorts of varieties and some were more nocturnal. Very interesting.

farmlady said...

Wow! What a beauty! You have some great photos here. I haven't seen this little guy... or gal. Beautiful!
The spider web will probably be there tomorrow... this was a "capture the moment" camera shoot.
Really nice.

Christine said...

What the? I would not have guessed moth. Interesting. Very interesting.

I saw the COOLEST little lizard-like thing the other day but didn't have my camera. :(

Susan said...

I've never seen one! How amazing! I am continually in awe of the endless surprises Nature dishes up.

Gayle said...

Aren't they entertaining to watch? I've seen a couple this summer and posted about them earlier in the year. You may end up seeing more varities, I believe we only have one.

Sheepmom said...

We have these guys, or something similar. They are quite fearless and if you move slowly you can get very close to them while they're working. Excellent shots!

Jan baby said...

Living in suburbia, I never see this sort of cool stuff. Time for another visit, I'm thinkin'!

Alice said...

What a colorful, fascinating species of Moth to discover!!! The photos are card/calendar worthy.

cyndy said...

Nice!

Ed said...

So its a type of moth? Fascinating! Great shots of it. I saw a wierd grey and orange moth at moms earlier this week but it was too dark for pics..:-)

Peacecat said...

Really amazing that you photographed this moth. Just a week ago a very similar appearing creature bumped into my son while we were outside. It was bee like but much larger and really king of scary looking. He swears it was a hornet but he's wrong (he's also just 12). I believe it was a moth like this - and I verified that they can be found in Alaska. Amazing, simply amazing, timing of your post!

flowerweaver said...

We actually have a lot of the nocturnal ones here, and ours are not as colorful. My first experience with one, though, was sitting on the patio one evening in a nightgown with embroidered flowers on the shoulder straps and having one repeatedly try to 'pollinate' me!

Terry and Linda said...

Cool! As far as I know I have never seen one before!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

small farm girl said...

I've seen these before, but I didn't know what they were either. Thanks for the info!

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