Have you Ever Seen?

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Ok, I was just looking around the net and ran across some bugs.
So it got me thinking about something I've seen only once in my life and I was wondering if anyone else had seen anything like it.
Now, for the oddball description.
I can not recall the color but I think it was green/red or something.
It was the size of a humming bird
It hovered like a humming bird
The odd thing was that it had curled antennas and a proboscis.
I'd only seen one once in my life, was with my father at the time who said it may be a lady bird. No clue, I've googled that a few times and nothing useful comes up.
So I was wondering if anyone's seen anything like this? It was very odd and I wish I knew what it was.
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On Tue, 06 Nov 2007 15:45:43 -0600, Scott Hildenbrand

http://www.desertusa.com/mag99/jan/papr/sphinx.html
http://www.birds-n-garden.com/hummingbird_moths.html
Also look on Google images for hummingbird moth.
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Charles wrote:

Kewl beans.. That is exactly what it is.. Thanks a bunch! :D
Hmmmm... Wonder why I've only seen them once, or maybe I've seen more from a distance and assumed they were humming birds..
Oh well.. Wonder if I can attract them down here.. Saw my first Luna moth, Cow Killer and several other odd things since we've moved so kinda excited.. :)
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Have you ever explored http://www.whatsthatbug.com ? Great site for identifications and the just plain strange!
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Ann said:

Wow, cool! Hadn't been pointed to that site, before. Thanks! =)
--

Eggs

A flashlight is a case for holding dead batteries.
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Thanks for posting that link, Ann. Very useful site.
Gloria
expounded:

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It's a moth, commonly known as the Hummingbird Moth. There's quite a few different species. Here's one website that might interest you. http://72.41.49.149/page5b.html
You could also Google "hummingbird moth" and go to the images, you'll see a lot of them and possibly identify the exact one you saw.
Val
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Scott Hildenbrand wrote:

I saw both the moth and birds this summer. It was thrilling because I hadn't seen either since I was very young. The moth was fast and didn't stick around so I could watch it. I just bought a feeder for next year, don't know if the moths will use that or not but hope the hummingbirds will. The hummingbirds came in real close to three of us standing there talking, maybe 3' or so. It was my annual salvia sangria they liked, the red spikey things that stuck out.
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Check at Lanny over in Rec.birds. Lanny bands hummingbirds!
http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html
If you have one humming bird feed you have one hummingbird. If you have two humming bird feeders you have one hummingbird. If you have three humming bird feeders you have one hummingbird if they are in sight of each other. So place your feeds about your house not in sight of each other that way one little beast can't protect it and you may have many hummers .
Bill
PS 1 part sugar to four parts water and no dye. I like humzinger as they don't leak.
http://www.hummzinger.biz/humzinger.htm
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I had three hummingbirds using one feeder. Male, female and offspring. Saw all three at once, one would use the feeder, the other two perched nearby.
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Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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William Wagner wrote:

I keep reading such presented as fact but in my experience I've not found that to be true. I put out two feeders about two feet apart, each with four stations, and have counted as many as six hummers all feeding at once, and with others perched on a wire fence mere inches away or hovering within a few feet.

I won't buy feeders with a plastic food container, plastic becomes etched and breeds bacteria. I use only glass, scrubbed once a week with salt and soaked over night in a 4 to 1 water and white vinegar solution... never use soap. It's really not necessary to feed hummers, they do fine foraging as they've done for millions of years. We feed hummers strictly for our own amusement, so it behooves us to feed them responsibly.
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Sheldon wrote:

Thank you all for the advice. I wanted a really pretty one because I was hoping to photograph some, and I didn't like those ugly plastic ones. I bought an expensive blown glass one, and will try to keep it sanitary as you suggested. I really ought to have a spare that matches in case all or part of it breaks, but I don't dare :-). Even the "flower" inserts are glass. Plus like a bunch of other pretty garden things I have, there is the worry that someone will steal it. Sometimes you just have to take the risk.
I was planning on hanging it on a shepherd's hook amidst the flowers or might suspend it from a tree branch on the east side of the house so I can watch for them out the window. So I'll probably end up with two anyway, but one will have to suffice for now.
I've been wanting one for a few years now but wasn't sure I could attract any until we spotted that pair that evening.
I won't say which one I chose (went with my newly painted house well); they are all pretty expensive.
http://www.bestnest.com/bestnest/blown_glass_hummingbird_feeders.asp
I've always wanted to try to attract goldfinches, too, so that is next but I was worried about thistle seed spilling out. I let a volunteer thistle grow one year so I could watch it (Sottish national flower) and took many photos of it for practice mostly, one with a Monarch butterfly. I tried not to let too many seed pods explode, but was busy with other things. The next year quite a few thistles all over the yard. I got them all dug out and under control, so don't think I'll do that again.
One year I put out pumpkin seeds for the birds, and one seeded itself on the side of the stoop where I feed them, took and grew to be a huge vine in my front yard which I let it be just for that year, annuals anyway, but I wondered what a watermelon there might do :-). It produced three beautiful pumpkins, we just mowed around it, and it kept the grass underneath from coming through IIRC. No, that's not how it was at all. I had a pumpkin for my kids on Halloween, and it fell off and decomposed or something. I put squash seeds out whenever I cook those and never gotten any squash plants there.
If the feeder gets residue, I will give it the vinegar treatment. Otherwise, why can't I just soak it in bleach and rinse it out very well?
Is refined sugar good for hummers? I was inclined to buy the nectar.
Oh one of my long ones again, but while we're on the subject, I was a gourmet feeder for my birds. One pile for the carnivores, one pile for the other birds, roasted unsalted peanuts for the squirrels, a bag of nuts for the winter (oh how they loved to get an English walnut, but they aren't too picky, I did have to ration those). I even cracked open the Brazil nuts because I thought the shells would be hard on their teeth, but black walnuts all around here must be just as bad.
Anyway, I bought bags and bags of extra large striped sunflower seeds because the kernel is bigger, and the squirrels love them. Now after so many years of that, I have read that the shells poison the ground where I'd like to plant something nice now. So I switched to shell free mix which is more expensive and wish I could go back to the other. I was told not to plant this or that there, scattered some wildflower seeds as a test, they came up but were filled with crabgrass and were a mess. Then my son sprayed them (thought they were weeds, not because of the crabgrass, forgot to tell him I was trying to grow wildflowers there, kind of spindly) so I don't know if they would have done anything or not. How long does it take for the ground to cleanse itself from sunflower seed toxins? I had shells all over the front steps which accumulated over the years and swept them off from time to time onto, of course, the ground around them. I planted sweet peas, and they did ok, but I didn't have anything for them to climb high enough and it's super dry there, needs to be watered constantly. So now I have large clay pots with flowers in them (a neighbor had to move in a hurry and left them behind full of whatever had been in them the previous year, said I could take them), and I emptied them out and scrubbed them. I had to water them a lot, too, as it turned out, but they looked nicer to me.

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Buy this book or at least read the reviews.
(Amazon.com product link shortened) 26886/ref=sr_1_1/104-5007476-8190325?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid94707176&sr=1- 1
or
http://preview.tinyurl.com/28ne64
Bill
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William Wagner wrote:

I'll look that up, links didn't work right away, don't want to take the time to figure that out now but need to learn tinyrul. I will try to get it through the library or something, as my book budget is committed to the cheapest copies of Edward Rowe Snow's books, as many as I can get. The library doesn't have many of his.
So thanks for the tip on that. I will search Amazon when things calm down, we've been going round and round about my phone problem on another group, I've just been putting up with it, more pressing matters, but the phone guy showed up today and had a heck of a time finding the problem, but I think we have that solved, need to report back and try to remember what all happened with that.

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William Wagner wrote:

I ordered the hum book through Alibris for $14.37 but may have gotten a break on shipping through amazon. They didn't have many of the Snow books I wanted, so I ordered them all through Alibris. Because they are all coming from a different vendor for each one, the shipping will be $39.90. Ouch.
The library can get some things on inter-library loan, but that is a lot of hassle, all that running, make sure you get it back on time to avoid fines for all the books I ordered and winter coming.
The hummingbird book will be fun. The ones we saw one had an irridescent green on the neck, probably the male, IIRC.
Thank you for the suggestion. There was another hummingbird book by the same title by a woman. I got the Sargent, Ruby-Throated one.

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Hettie wrote:

You'll find answers to a lot of your questions in rec.birds and specifically to your questions about hummingbirds at http://www.hummingbirds.net /, created and maintained by Lanny Chambers, who is a frequent contributor to rec.birds. There's lots of information about choosing and maintaining hummingbird feeders (plus a migration chart every Spring).
I've tried blown glass hummingbird feeders a few times but have found them to be useless; as soon as they warm up the liquid expands and they start to leak, since the feeder tips face downward. I've ended up embedding them in the ground, "business end" down, and pretending they're decorative glass globes. I imagine you'll want to try yours anyway; above all don't put it where the sun will shine on it, as that will make the expansion and leakage much worse.
You might find black oil sunflower seeds are easier for the birds to handle than the striped. I'm not sure how poisonous they would be to plants underneath.
The thistle seeds used for birds are heat treated so they won't germinate.
HTH
helco
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helco wrote:

ok, thank you.

This feeder doesn't tip face downward, it's model BIR-12230 at the link I posted. Maybe best not to fill it to capacity and keep it in part sun anyway, I haven't decided where to put it yet, will have to be where there won't be something ugly or distracting in my photos, assuming I get any.

Yes, for the birds, and I don't know if they are as toxic as the striped. At least they are smaller which means less volume of toxicity. I think the jury is out as to just exactly what does what to what. Crazy morning, phone company guy, timer going off for my cereal.

Well, that is good to know. Now to find a pretty and functional one. But not now as I've spent pretty much my limit for this season.
Thank you.

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I like the thistle feeder that force the finches to hang upside down. Finches are the only guys that can do it so it saves money. I also place electrical shrink wrap on metal supports before it gets real cold. So no ones feet gets stuck.
Bill
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Grow and let go to seed sunflowers and echinacea, and you'll have all the goldfinches you want. As for the hummers, I do feed them, only to get them close to the porch so I can see them up close. They'd be in the garden anyways, I have all manner of flowers for them to enjoy, salvias, agastaches, heucheras (they love the old-fashioned coral bells), the list goes on. What attracts them also attracts butterflies. Flying flowers :o)
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Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Ann wrote:

I have one echinacea, a freebie with a plant order, pretty yellow one, just planted it so don't know if it will be back in spring. I will try some overplanting some bulbs in that "bad" spot (mix in some compost well maybe a little peat despite the sunflower shells making the soil lighter). But I wanted a few roses there. Decisions decisions. I hope it is sunny enough. Until I open up the boulevard in front, and my rose strip in back, I can't plant many more full sun plants.
I can't find any heucheras like I remember as a child or what was here when we bought the place that my ex recklessly tore out. IIRC, I know they had pretty pink bells, and I think the leaves had a darker green tracing around the center of the leaf. A perennial agastache I wanted isn't hardy in my zone, will look for one that may be.
I'm up to my eyeballs in seeds I have to plant for spring, but want to make one more order because I see T&M has liatris in their new catalog, will see if they have any you suggested about the others. I thought I wanted that double decker echinacea, but the traditional one might be nicer once the novelty wore off, don't know yet.
I've got way more going than will work in my small yard, my latest is rooting rose cuttings and few places left to put them, don't want it to look junky. My tomatoes will now have to go in 5-gal containers because six rose bushes are going in where I grew some tomatoes from seed this year.
Thank you.
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