One of the most shy garden insects, the Hummingbird Moth (Hawk or Sphinx Moth), is a perennial favorite that seeks nectar-rich flowers much like hummingbirds and butterflies.
A Garden Treat: Hummingbird Moth (aka Hawk or Sphinx Moth)
Hummingbird Moths (aka Hawk or Sphinx Moth) are definitely a garden treat here in Wisconsin.
Recently I saw a Hummingbird Moth. It was a moment I’ll never forget. There I was walking our dog and all of a sudden this bird-like insect dropped down onto our lavender bushes and started to drink the nectar.
I have planted many perennial gardens with the intent to draw in hummingbirds and butterflies, and while I have been successful on both counts, I had never seen this insect before. That is, not until today.
I was at first startled because it looked almost like a Cicada but flew like a hummingbird. But I would have to say that its flight pattern was bird-like in nature, especially how it flitted then hovered from flower to flower.
This insect made such an impression on me, I decided to learn a bit more about this really interesting moth. Here are some of my findings.
Nature Walks with Mark Introduces the Hummingbird Moth (Video)
Interesting Facts about the Hummingbird Hawk-Moth
This insect is a part of the sphinx moth family and is also classified as the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Hemaris thysbe).
The hummingbird moth has a wingspan of 1-1/2 to 2 inches and has a somewhat reddish brown body with a distinctive striping. Its wings are clear, which allows one to see its body easily.
It also has a long proboscis much like butterflies that unfurls and stretches out to drink the nectar of flowers.
It loves to feast on honeysuckle, bee balm, lilacs, and lavender, as well as other nectar-rich blossoms.
And, what makes this insect very intriguing, besides its resemblance to the hummingbird, is that it only flies during the day and prefers edges of forests, meadows, and of course, flower gardens.
Knowing these facts, you’ll know right away that it is a Hummingbird Moth if you are lucky enough to get a chance to see it.
And, just like its namesake, it flits between the flowers and doesn’t stay in one place for long. But when you do catch sight of it, it will be an experience you’ll never forget. Happy Gardening!
For more great gardening ideas for planting bird, bee and butterfly gardens, check out these super articles:
- Best Plants for Birds for Your Garden
- Benefits of Backyard Bird Gardens
- How to Attract Birds to Your Yard
- Best Organic Practices for Bird Gardens
- How to Make Your Own Homemade Hummingbird Food