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Hummingbird Imposters (Mystery Solved)
Self | 9-20-2002 | blam

Posted on 09/20/2002 4:15:32 PM PDT by blam

The last three years, at this time of year, I have put out my hummingbird feeders and I presently have 12 feeders hanging around my house, each feeder has 5-6 birds around it.
I have hummingbirds everywhere.

Now, over these last three years each evening as I go out to refill the feeders I catch sight of a strange looking 'bird' that quickly disappears so fast that I began to question whether I actually saw anything. Well, three days ago I finally got a good look at one of these critters.
It is a hummingbird looking thing but a little more fluffy and maybe a little more puffy than the 'standard' hummingbirds. I went to the library and looked through all their hummingbird books and didn't anything that looked like this 'bird.' I was beginning to think that I'd discovered a new species of hummingbird. This 'thing' does not go to the hummingbird feeders but to the flowers nearby that the hummingbirds do not bother with. I don't know what the flowers are but they are shaped like trumpets and I have decided that they are to deep for the hummingbirds to reach the nectar at the bottom. Last night I went on-line and below is what I found.

"We have had numerous reports of small orange and brown or zebra-striped "hummingbirds." These are usually hawk moths (or sphinx moths). They act just like hummingbirds, but they are insects."

These critters have a 'fold up' straw that is about six inches long that they fold out (like a carpenters folding rule) and insert into these flowers and get the nectar at the bottom.

Anyway, I thought I may enlighten some other Freepers to these Hummingbird Imposters
BTW, when the hummingbirds leave here, they fly for 26 continuous hours across the Gulf Of Mexico to the Yucatan.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: bird; hawkmoths; humming; hummingbirds; imposter; mystery; solved; sphinxmoths
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Yes, I do have a lot of time on my hands. I planned it that way.
1 posted on 09/20/2002 4:15:32 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
I'm losing that "Tuff Guy" image I had of you, blam.
2 posted on 09/20/2002 4:17:06 PM PDT by Cagey
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To: Cagey
Green Mile.
3 posted on 09/20/2002 4:17:58 PM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: blam
Good for you for having the time to notice and research these things. I do that kind of thing all the time, and it's very rewarding. And thanks for the info.
4 posted on 09/20/2002 4:18:04 PM PDT by EggsAckley
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To: blam
--I knew of them as "nighthawks" in South Dakota--
5 posted on 09/20/2002 4:18:12 PM PDT by rellimpank
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To: blam
How delightful, blam!
6 posted on 09/20/2002 4:18:21 PM PDT by brat
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To: blam
And they weight the eqivalent of two dimes when they leave and only one dime when they arrive at their destination or something like that...
7 posted on 09/20/2002 4:19:27 PM PDT by deport
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To: blam
Very Cool.
8 posted on 09/20/2002 4:19:32 PM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: blam

Humming-Bird Hawk-Moth
Macroglossum Stellartarum

9 posted on 09/20/2002 4:19:36 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
I thought maybe you would include a link to an interesting story about some ancient civilization that worshipped hummingbirds.
I am so disappointed in you.
A moth.
Ha !
10 posted on 09/20/2002 4:21:22 PM PDT by error99
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To: blam
I had about 4 hummingbirds, watched them for 3 months but I think they went south, I have not seen any of the critters you mentioned, I have lots of pictures of the birds.
11 posted on 09/20/2002 4:23:50 PM PDT by boomop1
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To: blam
This page has a photo of a bat at a hummingbird feeder.

http://www.hummingbirds.net/feeders.html#recipe
12 posted on 09/20/2002 4:24:12 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: RedBloodedAmerican

I guess he can still be a "Tuff Guy".

13 posted on 09/20/2002 4:24:37 PM PDT by Cagey
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To: dennisw
No, this is a photo of a bat at a hummingbird feeder.

14 posted on 09/20/2002 4:31:45 PM PDT by error99
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To: error99
"I thought maybe you would include a link to an interesting story about some ancient civilization that worshipped hummingbirds. "

Next week, I may tell you about the "Indian Mounds' I found on my property. Will that do?

15 posted on 09/20/2002 4:37:37 PM PDT by blam
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To: error99
Cool photo. Seems the feeders have to well designed to keep bees and wasps from dipping into the sugar water.
16 posted on 09/20/2002 4:37:42 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: blam
Cool. I have those here, too. But I'm only about 100 miles Northwest of you. I thought they were hummers, but moths in the daytime???
17 posted on 09/20/2002 4:37:58 PM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: dennisw
Don't ever give honey to the hummingbirds, it's not good for them.
18 posted on 09/20/2002 4:39:58 PM PDT by blam
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To: Alas Babylon!
Actually, just ran this through the Mileage Calculator, and I was off a little bit:
The distance from Tallassee, Alabama to Mobile, Alabama is approximately 178.5 miles.
19 posted on 09/20/2002 4:41:20 PM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: Alas Babylon!
"I thought they were hummers, but moths in the daytime???"

The earliest I've seen them around here is about 5:30pm but, usually a little later just at sundown. (The article I read on them said 'dusk'.)

20 posted on 09/20/2002 4:42:35 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
You'll never read anything like this on Demonrat Underworld (or some such thing, whatever).

Thanks for the post.

21 posted on 09/20/2002 4:43:54 PM PDT by FormerLib
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To: dennisw
" Seems the feeders have to well designed to keep bees and wasps from dipping into the sugar water."

I have 2-3 different kinds of feeders, they do have favorites...and the one with picture of the bat is not one of their favorites.

22 posted on 09/20/2002 4:46:08 PM PDT by blam
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To: Alas Babylon!
cool link.
It gives the distance "as the crow moth flies".
23 posted on 09/20/2002 4:46:36 PM PDT by error99
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To: blam
Did you say honey or money?
either way its probably a bad idea.
24 posted on 09/20/2002 4:47:20 PM PDT by error99
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To: Cagey
"I guess he can still be a "Tuff Guy"."

...and you still have to call before you come.

25 posted on 09/20/2002 4:47:20 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
"Next week, I may tell you about the "Indian Mounds' I found on my property. "
Why wait til next week?
Don't keep us in suspenders.
26 posted on 09/20/2002 4:48:59 PM PDT by error99
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To: dennisw
I read some of your site and it was interesting, however, it neglected to mention one caution told to me by a wildlife professional:

Never never dye the water with food coloring. The dye will damage a hummer's digestive tract.

(Thought I'd add that tidbit for other bird-lovers out there. ;-)
27 posted on 09/20/2002 4:54:19 PM PDT by Humidston
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To: blam
Next week, I may tell you about the "Indian Mounds' I found on my property.

Your neighbor's dog is named Indian?

a.cricket

28 posted on 09/20/2002 4:54:49 PM PDT by another cricket
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To: blam
What does GWB know about these things - and when did he know it?

Just kidding, of course. I have seen these critters in my backyard on occasion - thought they were a moth on steroids or something.

Usually have lots of humming birds - cool to watch. When I had on a bright red baseball cap, and stood still, they would sometimes come up to within inches of my head. Distinct whirring sound from the wings going warp one.

Thanks for the info.

LVM

29 posted on 09/20/2002 4:55:56 PM PDT by LasVegasMac
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To: FormerLib
You'll never read anything like this on Demonrat Underworld (or some such thing, whatever).

Oh yes you will! Follow the little hummingbird as we go...

Kumbaya mmm-mmm, Kumbaya. Kubaya mmm-mmm, Kubaya...(everybody now). Kumbaya mmm-mmm, Kubaya....

30 posted on 09/20/2002 4:56:11 PM PDT by VRW Conspirator
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: error99
"Why wait til next week?
Don't keep us in suspenders."

Here's a teaser:

Dauphin Island Shell Mounds

FYI, Dauphin Island was the capitol of all the Louisiana Territories in 1699. (Cadillac Square is now a public picnic area)

32 posted on 09/20/2002 5:03:16 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
We just saw the same insects on a blooming bush near Port Tobacco, Maryland. It was in a beautiful Church Yard overlooking the Potomac River. My brother and his wife were along, and it was he who identified it as an insect.
33 posted on 09/20/2002 5:03:25 PM PDT by billhilly
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To: blam
...and you still have to call before you come.

Hahahaha Yes, I remember that.

I always enjoy your interesting threads.

34 posted on 09/20/2002 5:05:45 PM PDT by Cagey
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To: error99
"Did you say honey or money? either way its probably a bad idea."

Boy, isn't that the truth? Last time I slipped a fin to a hummingbird, he picked up some brewskis for his buds and they proceeded to get trashed and make a mess all OVER my deck. Little beer cans.........little birdie poop piles (well, they DID drink a lot, so lost control)........think they even had little humminghookers there.

I was actually impressed by how far they stretched a fiver................but still.....................

35 posted on 09/20/2002 5:05:57 PM PDT by RightOnline
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To: Humidston
"Never never dye the water with food coloring. The dye will damage a hummer's digestive tract."

Yup. There are a lot of ways to screw up. It's to easy just to buy (for a couple bucks) the premixed solutions. They contain all the nutrients needed. If you're gonna do, "Do it right."

36 posted on 09/20/2002 5:06:20 PM PDT by blam
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To: EggsAckley
Exactly, EggsAckley!

What I thought also though was great is those humingbirds can get along well enough to have more than one to a feeder at a time! Ones around here fight terribly to dine alone, LOL!
37 posted on 09/20/2002 5:12:18 PM PDT by JLO
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To: blam
Bring the feeder back in if you see this buzzing around...


38 posted on 09/20/2002 5:19:42 PM PDT by Redcloak
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To: RightOnline
a fin for a hummer?
not a bad deal.
39 posted on 09/20/2002 5:34:37 PM PDT by error99
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To: blam
Nice detective work - Now get back to figuring what happened in 540 AD.
40 posted on 09/20/2002 5:35:25 PM PDT by Mike Darancette
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To: JLO
"What I thought also though was great is those humingbirds can get along well enough to have more than one to a feeder at a time! Ones around here fight terribly to dine alone, LOL!"

Southern manners? (actually they are very territorial and do fight a lot. Sometimes it looks like a swarm of bees around here)

41 posted on 09/20/2002 5:39:26 PM PDT by blam
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To: Humidston
I too enjoy my littlest visitors. {Well my littlest welcome visitors.} Mine are drawn to the all natural flowers in my yard, courtesy Mother Nature.
You say that food dye can damage the hummingbird digestive tract? Good to know. However, I thought that the FDA had approved food dyes for human consumption, and that their approval was generally or often based on the ability of small creatures to survive the experimentation. Since then we've furthered the 'experiment' for years on our own digestive tracts with food dyes. Now you're casting aspersions on them? And I thought that it was all of the fast food, junk food, etc. that was doing us in. Mrs. JJ
42 posted on 09/20/2002 5:42:26 PM PDT by John Jamieson
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To: Cagey; blam
"I'm losing that "Tuff Guy" image I had of you, blam."

Well, he didn't mention that he hunts the critters and enjoys the challenge of nailing them with his Dirty Harry .44 Magnum.:^0

43 posted on 09/20/2002 5:49:21 PM PDT by Kermit
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To: another cricket
"Your neighbor's dog is named Indian?"

I was trying feverishly to come up with something like that!

44 posted on 09/20/2002 5:51:12 PM PDT by ovrtaxt
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To: JLO
"What I thought also though was great is those humingbirds can get along well enough to have more than one to a feeder at a time! Ones around here fight terribly to dine alone, LOL!"

Southern manners? (actually they are very territorial and do fight a lot. Sometimes it looks like a swarm of bees around here)

45 posted on 09/20/2002 5:55:11 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

46 posted on 09/20/2002 5:57:21 PM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: Mike Darancette
"Now get back to figuring what happened in 540 AD. "

Catastrophic Event Preceded Dark Ages - Scientist

47 posted on 09/20/2002 6:03:37 PM PDT by blam
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To: John Jamieson; blam
blam, for some odd reason, I'm not able to respond directly to you; hence this tag on this post. Although, I want to respond to Mrs. JJ too.

blam, the birds at our feeders will never let another one land at the same one. I have one feeder right outside my home office window just 2 feet away, so I get to watch a lot during the workday. They will fight to the death before letting another one onto the feeder. We have several kinds of feeders but the one I see the most is a 4 or 5 seater. If a 2nd bird comes in, it's always chased off. And one time we found a dead one right under the feeder. Glad yours get along better in the south - like you said; it must be the southern manners, LOL!

Mrs. JJ - the birds here love the flowers too. I'm not sure which they prefer, the flowers or feeders. They're all busy around here. Re: food dye - I've read where we shouldn't add it to the nectar as it is bad for them.

My research on this turned out to be that for hummingbird nectar to make at home that is good for them is to start with 4 parts water, add 1 part sugar and boil for 5 minutes. I've done this for years and birds come to the feeders even without the red dye.

Alas, all our little friends up this way in MN seem to have left already.
48 posted on 09/20/2002 6:17:37 PM PDT by JLO
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To: error99
Now that is very funny! LOL
49 posted on 09/20/2002 6:18:35 PM PDT by LuigiBasco
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To: LuigiBasco
Ooops "a fin for a hummer? not a bad deal."
Now that is very funny. LOL
50 posted on 09/20/2002 6:21:36 PM PDT by LuigiBasco
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