Awaiting for the hummingbird

September Wildlife Wednesday

September – the hummers are more visible and feeding more often trying to fatten up before the flight back to their winter homes. Although they are ‘punctual’ for their meals they are hard to catch on camera though; it seems they are picky on the daily menu: Hibiscus, Delphinium, Kniphofia, Phlox…. They are fun to watch but so frustrating to photograph!

In waiting for the hummingbird, I will show first more pictures of swallowtails and the hummingbird moth, all captured while feeding one afternoon on Vernonia – Ironweed (probably V. noveboracensis). It was quite crowded! I don’t have this plant in the garden, so it is on top of my wish list (there are seeds, no worry… :)


Giant swallowtail – Papilio cresphontes; said to be the largest butterfly found in Canada


Eastern black swallowtail – Papilio polyxenes (there are a few subspecies, but let’s not go into details here)

The Hummingbird clearwing moth behaves like the hummingbirds, showing around the garden at the same time for the feeding. According with wiki, this moth is considered to be a hummingbird mimic and is frequently mistaken for it! It collects nectar from a variety of species, using a long proboscis. I’ve also seen it on Phlox and Monarda, and it seems to prefer purple and red flowers.


Hummingbird clearwing – Hemaris thysbe

And since we’ve waited for the hummingbird, here it is my best shot taken yesterday just by pure chance. The female of the Ruby-throated (Archilochus colubris) or Black-chinned hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri), I cannot tell for sure; feeding on a Delphinium.


As always, there is much more to read and many beautiful pictures with birds and other pollinators for this Wildlife Wednesday meme, at Tina’s wildlife friendly Blog!


10 replies
  1. Tina
    Tina says:

    Beautiful captures!! So glad you were able to get a good shot of the hummers–bird and moth, alike! That’s something I haven’t seen all year in my garden, hummingbird moths and they were once very common. Hmmm. Your butterfly is just gorgeous, as are all the blooming things. Thanks for joining in–it was a treat!

  2. Pat Martin
    Pat Martin says:

    Fabulous photo of the Hummingbird clearwing moth! I also like your hummingbird shot and it is indeed a female ruby-throated hummingbird. The males have apparently already departed for their winter breeding grounds and the females will follow as soon as they’ve amassed enough reserves for the long trip. The Black-chinned hummingbird is completely out of range. In Canada, you’ll only find it in the very south of BC.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      Thank you Pat! I wasn’t quite sure and didn’t want to give a wrong ID :) I have the feeling it was their last day around (at least 3 females).

  3. Sue
    Sue says:

    I love the hummingbird, we don’t have them here in Australia. And I was amazed at the hummingbird moth, what an incredible little thing! Thanks so much for sharing these interesting wildlife.

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