Hummingbird Moth

Q: Please tell me what I have just seen in my garden in September. I thought it was a hummingbird, but it was slightly smaller and it was beating very hummingbird-like wings.

It wasn’t drinking from the feeders but from every bloom on our butterfly bush. It really didn’t seem a like a bird at all but a giant insect. It was reddish brown in color and had what seemed to been antennae and insect-like front legs. Can you enlighten me?

A: You saw a hummingbird moth, one of the sphinx moths. It drinks flower nectar but I am not aware if it likes the sugar nectar in a hummingbird feeder. They hover above flowers and “hum” much like a hummingbird.

See hummingbirdmoth.com

Sphinx-moth pupa