Is this a bird or an insect?

Asked August 11, 2017, 2:33 PM EDT

Found this creature flying around our flowers this morning in Bucks County. It is as fast as a hummingbird but appears to have antennas. Can you please identify from attached photo. Thank you

Bucks County Pennsylvania hummingbirds moths sphinx moth hummingbird moth

1 Response

The insect is a hummingbird moth also know as a hawk moth. (Hemaris sp.)
It is a member of the sphinx moth family. Unlike most other moths, the hummingbird moth frequent gardens in full daylight. They are quite "tame" and it is very easy to get close to one as it hovers around a flower feeding. If you get close, you will be able to see the long coiled tongue which it uses to feed on the nectar. As soon as you spot the antenna on the moth's head, you can be sure that it a hummingbird moth insect and not a hummingbird bird! :) This charming creature is one of my favorite pollinators.

Here's a link for more information:
https://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/National-Wildlife/Gardening/Archives/2001/Feeding-a-Hummingbird-Thats-Really-a-Moth.aspx

Your photos is great!

Happy Gardening!