Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Well, no, it’s neither a bird nor a bee but you could certainly be forgiven for being taken aback by this large (2 inch wingspan), day-flying creature which resembles a bee hummingbird in size and behaviour.  It’s actually a beautiful and completely harmless hummingbird hawk moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) which is resident in Southern France, though has been seen in every county in the UK at some point.  Like hummingbirds they have convergently evolved to be extremely capable flyers and can hover to feed on the nectar of deep and strongly scented flowers via their long proboscis with great precision.  Steve spotted this one but they are difficult to photograph due to their speed of movement and the fact that their wings beat so fast they are a blur – and give off an audible hum.

Steve is always happy to provide natural history walks.  Whilst hummingbird hawk moths can’t be promised there are usually plenty of amazing creatures and plants to keep us interested and amazed on any outing.

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