Thursday, October 20, 2011

Salvia Wars

First of all, I do not know what this is- a moth of sorts it looks like.  Can anyone identify?  Either way, he was very fascinating to me so I ran and got the camera.
 He was all over the salvia.
 I thought it was so cool how I could see his proboscis.

 I was totally mesmerized watching him.
Here is a shot of his back side.  He was all about the salvia.  Well, apparently someone didn't like that much..... out of the blue came this hummingbird who proceeded to chase him.  It was bizarre to watch.  They were going so fast- I tried to get a shot of the chase, but was unable. 
 Here is the hummingbird after chasing him off, going to the salvia.
Either I got the hummingbird or the moth (?) but never both in focus on the same frame.  
The hummingbird would swoop down and chase him, then go to the salvia for a while, then go hang out on the branch and watch for a minute then go right back to chasing him off.  It was so fun to watch.  
 Here he is on his lookout.  He would get so close to me I could have touched him.  It was so fun.
 See- like here- only the hummingbird was in focus.
 Hope you enjoy the shots.


  1. Saw one MANY years ago...that was a hummingbird moth :) I remember saying to my husband.."look at the bee, I mean the bird, I mean the bee..." I wasn't sure what in the world it was until I googled it!

  2. How interesting. I've never seen a hummingbird chase off a hummingbird moth! They have a lot of different names, but you might want to look them up under Hemaris thysbe. I've seen a couple in my garden this year. They are as hard to photograph as a hummingbird. Good shots!

  3. I have yet to see a hummingbird moth in my garden. It's fascinating to watch the hummingbirds though; their antics are so fun! Everything looks so happy in the gardens too. Do you do anything special to get your Mexican flame vine to bloom? Mine hasn't bloomed since that one short rain shower in June ;/

  4. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden
    I saw a hummingbird moth in my garden, once this summer, for about 30 seconds! They are really quite unusual looking aren't they? You did well to capture it and the tiny hummingbird as well. They are fast! The salvia looks so fresh and blue. This is a really great set of photographs!

  5. Hummingbirds are so territorial - I have 2 that chase each other around our feeders and can never get a clear shot of them either. SO fast! Love your salvia blooms. My indigo spires is only now beginning to flower this year. Better late than never!

  6. I'm not surprised the hummingbird was angry to see a moth in his territory. They are such feisty little things. Nice shots.

  7. Amazing bird photos! Hummingbirds are tricky to capture in flight. Your salvia is lovely too. My favorite type of gardens are the ones that attract wildlife.

  8. Nantucket- thanks for the ID- they are so neat looking!!!

    HolleyG- thanks! I have so much fun sitting out there taking photos of all the birds and butterflies. The hummingbirds always fascinate me.

    Cat- just full sun- I have one other planted in another spot that is 1/2 day shade and it rarely blooms. I planted it there just to see if it would bloom with less sun and got my answer.... but the one in full sun is rockin' and rollin'

    Jennifer- thanks! Yes they are so fast - I kept changing the mode on my camera trying to get the both of them in the same frame but never got it- they were zipping all around me - I needed a video camera for that. It was so bizarre- they were going so fast. Then they'd kind of "cool it" and then it'd start up again. I love the salvia and the cooler mornings have really made the purple/blue vivid.

    TexasDeb- we have about 5 out there- this one stays in the back in the tree in the corner- the other 4 hang out in the front tree. They are territorial I agree but they all seem to get along and know their "areas" as they clearly have their own areas. The moth apparently was not informed...

    Lan/Jenny- Thanks!

    Sarah- Thank you! They are hard to get in flight- I had about 100 photos I sorted through to get the ones I was happiest with. We get so many different types of birds and butterflies and 3 types of bees as well.
    The road runner is still there and just waltzes around- he is so funny- the female one tends to stay at the back- but the male walks around all the time. He is so funny. I saw him hop over a pot the other day. Haven't seen the Painted Bunting or the Baltimore Oriole in a while- must have moved on.

  9. Awesome pics and I'm way jealous of all the salvia blooms. I'm a new follower and psyched to have found your blog!

  10. I was going to say bird-moth-bee. A hummingbird moth? How very interesting!

  11. Hahahaha...amazing! We had hummingbird moths back in Nebraska, but I've never seen one here in Portland. Here in PDX, we have (what I'm assuming is) a breeding pair of Hummingbirds. They are really territorial, and are constantly chasing off other hummers who try to swoop into THEIR garden for a drink! It's pretty amusing...there's nothing quite like getting dive-bombed by an angry trio of hummers!