Close encounters of the hummingbird kind

A pre-dawn hummer goes for the nectar at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Long, thoughtful posts, full of depth and perspective, aren’t always possible at the best of times. They’re even harder when you’re trying to post every day for thirty days as a sort of shadow NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month – a poor cousin of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month). Which, in case you hadn’t noticed, I am attempting to do.

So, today, I’m simply going to share a few of this year’s encounters with the elusive hummingbird.

Red Monarda exerts its siren call on this little hummer in Seattle, Washington.

Hummingbirds are not known to sit still for a photo op. Even when they hover, you focus and, zip!,  they’re out of camera range. If you station yourself by some nectar-bearing flowers, especially in the colour red, they might zoom by. Stand very still and watch the show. In my own garden, I’ve even seen hummers sip from an Allium flower.

In the Landscape Ontario trial gardens, a hummingbird moth

[Update: I’ve added a few informative links. Here’s a helpful one from with tips on attracting hummingbirds.]

Then we have a blurry shot of a clearwing hummingbird moth, which acts and looks like a hummer – and perhaps even zippier. These charming creatures are in the same family as the tomato hornworm caterpillar/sphinx moth, only the larvae for these little guys won’t eat your tomatoes. They’re hum-dingers!

[Update: Here’s info from Iowa State University on hummingbird moths.]


  1. I have an incredibly large number of very bad photos of hummers! I admire anyone who can actually get one that's in focus. That silhouette at the top is very good.

  2. My one regret at Seattle was not having a good enough camera to capture the humming birds we saw. I'm having to make do with my memory 🙂

  3. I love them and so wish they would let me capture a photo in my garden. VP, I have a sort of blurred photo of the hummers visiting the crocosmia in Seattle! gail

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