What are these intriguing backyard creatures?

Hummingbird Moths.

Every summer at the beginning of August we watch the Humming Bird Moths visiting the Phlox in our backyard.

Hummingbird Moths

We call them the pixies. Their nature certainly reminds us of a pixie like creature. These little amusing creatures appear each summer when the Phlox are in bloom in the garden. At first, from a distance, they appear to be a humming bird. They certainly act like humming birds.
It hovers with its wings beating over the flower and sucks the nectar with a tiny straw like mouth. This is unlike bees and butterflies who actually land on the flowers.

It has a furry like body that remind you of small feathers. It length is about 1 1/2 inches. The body shape reminds one of a small Cray fish. They have two pixie like antennae.

Believe or not, they are moths. These particular moths are in the large family of Sphinx Moths (see example left) which inhabit the United States and Canada. The larvae rear up their heads in a sphinx-like posture, thus the name. The ones pictured above are called Hummingbird Moths because they are often mistaken for hummingbirds.
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