Bathrobe photography: it’s a moth, not a hummingbird
If you live in North America and you’ve ever found yourself out in the garden in the dusky, crepuscular hours after sunset, you’ve probably encountered something buzzing around your flowers that you might, at first, have mistaken for a late-retiring hummingbird.
This busily-flitting creature certainly behaves something like a hummingbird, with rapidly whirring wings and a tendency to visit the same sorts of nectar-producing blooms. But if you succeed in getting a close look at it (with a flashlight, for instance) you’ll discover it’s a moth: specifically, a white-lined sphinx moth (Hyles lineata).
With a wingspan of 2-3 inches and an elongated body, these are some of the larger moths you’re likely to encounter — and on first encounter you may find yourself somewhat startled by their boldness. They have no problem carrying on their nectaring activities within scant inches of you, if you happen to be standing near a likely food source.
During daylight hours, keep an eye out for another moth of the Sphingidae family: the so-called hummingbird clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) — though personally I find that creature to more resemble a bumblebee (in both behavior and appearance) than a hummer.