A few days ago I was in my backyard waiting in vain for a hummingbird to visit when I noticed something hovering around one of our butterfly bushes. I grabbed my camera and went to investigate. Rather than photographing a hummingbird at 60fps as I had planned, Mother Nature sent a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth instead.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
The Hummingbird Clearwing Moth moth is supposed to be quite common throughout the eastern half of the United States and much of Canada, but I had never seen one before.
I was fortunate to be able to capture a couple of image runs at 60 frames per second using my Nikon 1 V2. The next three images are the initial consecutive images in one of the bursts.
The scientific name for this moth is Hemaris thysbe. It is a fairly large moth with a wingspan of 4 cm to 5.5 cm.
These moths drink nectar from a wide variety of plants such as beebalm, red clover, lilac, cranberry, blueberry, and thistles to name a few.
They feed and fly during the daytime, hovering in front of a flower when feeding the way that hummingbirds do.
There are four species of hummingbird moths in North America with the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth and the Snowberry Clearwing being the most common.
There are various species of hummingbird moths in Europe, North Africa and across Asia. In Britain they are commonly called Hummingbird Hawk-moths.
The next time you have a small, thick bodied critter hovering around your flowers check it out. It may not be a hummingbird at all, but rather a hummingbird moth.
My intent is to keep this photography blog advertising free. If you enjoyed this article and/or my website and would like to make a modest donation through PayPal to support my work it would be most appreciated.
Perhaps you’re a novice or amateur photographer wanting to improve your skills and understanding of photography and looking for a customized solution. Give us a call or pop us an email to learn about our photography coaching programs.
You can also support my efforts when you purchase anything from B&H by using the Thomas Stirr affiliate link. Even the smallest purchases will help support this web site.
As a reminder to our Canadian readers, you can get a special 5% discount when ordering Tamron or Rokinon lenses and other products directly from the Amplis Store by using promotion code
Article and all images are Copyright 2016 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. While we do allow some pre-authorized links to our site from folks like Nikon Canada and Mirrorlessons.com, if you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use.