Clearwing Hummingbird, Middle Creek Wildlife Area, United States By Joe Endy

Picture Story

I went out to photograph Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds at my favorite local wildlife spot, Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area. The Hummingbirds were a little slow that day but I noticed some movement in the flowers. I looked close and noticed there was a Clearwing Hummingbird Moth feeding.  I moved into a better position to get a shot with a nice neutral background so my subject would stand out.  I sit in a low folding chair to try and get eye level with the animal I am photographing if possible.  Hummingbird Moths move very fast and erratic making them a tough subject to capture.  Hummingbird Moths have a very rapid wingbeat of about 70 beats per second so you should try to use a fairly fast shutter speed to freeze the wing movement. I waited as the moth worked its way around the flower to the perfect spot to get a decent shot as it was ready to feed.  As soon as it moved out in the open I took a series of shots. I was very pleased with this image. The Moth's long tongue-like proboscis was coiled in this shot.  The tongue-like tube is almost double the body length to help reach the nectar deep inside flowers. They are very interesting little moths, they remind me of a flying crayfish or shrimp. 

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