In my Phoenix Desert Garden: Baby Hummingbirds?

Hummingbird Hawk-MothWell, I saw perhaps the most amazing thing EVER (cue the theatrics) this evening as I was pruning dead stuff out of my Phoenix desert wildflower garden.  A pair of baby hummingbirds, about 1″ long, going from bloom to bloom on my Penstemons and then my Rock Verbena. It was dusk, I was camera-less, so what else could I do but take a seat and watch the show???

This was fascinating.  I’d never seen such tiny hummingbirds hovering over these beautiful flowers, docking in each one and going about the business of pollinating.

My husband clomped over in his cowboy boots (ballet feet, honey…ballet feet) and I whispered my fabulous find, and together we watched.  I was so close, I could see their antennae…wait…WHAT???  Antennae?

There I was…dumbstruck (a not-so-unusual occurrence).  A moth?  A bat?  But it flies just like a hummingbird!

Well, thank you, Al Gore, for inventing the Internet.  With my childhood set of World Book Encyclopedias, it would have taken days, even weeks, to discover that I think we saw a Hummingbird Hawk-Moth.  It looks sort of like the guy in this picture, but not exactly.  Less color, more striations.  It could also be a Sphinx Moth which also has a flying pattern similar to a hummingbird.  This is more likely since the Sphinx Moth starts out as a Tomato Hornworm, which I know we have here in the Phoenix desert.  I just couldn’t find pictures of one in flight.

They do like to return to the places where they’ve fed before.  I’ll be back tomorrow at dusk with my camera…waiting…

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