Hornworms & a Female Hummingbird

Hornworms are sphinx moth (hawk moth) caterpillars.
It’s a big beautiful moth. Dark in color and I’ve only seen them in the evening.
Below is a photo I took back in 2017.
mmm. Now that I look through photos in the search engines, I’m not sure this is a sphinx or hawk moth. It was a huge moth though and a pollinator. What kind do you think it is?
The sphinx moth is a pollinator and as is with our gardening methods we left the last 2 tomato plants for the nursery of their Hornworms.
There was originally 3 Hornworms left on the plants and then just these 2.
Then there was just 1 caterpillar and it ran out of cherry tomatoes, so I started feeding it store bought cherry tomatoes. It enjoyed them for a few days and then it disappeared. I figure it left to go into it’s pupae state. I hope that the 3 caterpillars, we let mature, mutate into some healthy pollinators next Spring.
One evening I was washing dishes and saw a wee female hummingbird land on the tomato cage near the last caterpillar. I took a photo through the glass and screen and so the quality isn’t great. However, the size comparison is unsettling. The caterpillar is almost as big as the hummingbird. Just think how dreadful it would be if the caterpillar wasn’t a vegan. 😉

Wishing you all a pleasant weekend!

 

 


 

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20 thoughts on “Hornworms & a Female Hummingbird

    • Thanks so much Claire,
      The Sphinx/hawk moths are as big if not bigger than a hummingbird. I wish you all had hummingbirds. They’re such fun little critters to watch. They’re a bit like undisciplined cherubs chittering and scuffling about. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Have many of these Hornworms eat our tomato plants each year. Loved the little hummingbird looking at that big worm. That little bird might be thinking that is something I do not want to bother. Ha

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Peggy,
      Early in the gardening season the hornworms show up in our garden and we dispatch of them promptly to save our crops. I think you’re spot-on about what may be going through the hummingbirds mind. lol 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sigh. Those nasty hornworms! I am glad you showed that they have a purpose in the world, but I still don’t want them on my tomatoes!! However, we do have those moths around, so the caterpillars are here somewhere, though Thankfully not on my tomatoes! The deer ate those for me this year. Planted ten plants, got three tomatoes, and one branch of cherry tomatoes. They are in full bloom now. 🥴

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much SalPal,
      You’re welcome. When hornworms show up in our garden early in the gardening season, we waste no time dispatching of them promptly to save our crops.
      It’s shame about your tomatoes. 3 of 10 must be quite disheartening. The deer, so lovely and yet so destructive. With your tomatoes in full bloom, maybe you’ll get quite a few before first frost and before the deer can polish them off. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think I will get more fruit this year… we will likely have frost by this tome next month. They need longer than that to set fruit and ripen enough. I guess I am just waiting for next year. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hey SalPal,
          I’m sad to hear your season is ending before your crops have finished coming in. It’s a shame your region had such a short gardening season this year. Maybe next Spring will be better. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • I hope so!! It was already short, but then those deer set us back even more. Dry July I can deal with, I have a hose! Next year, I hope to keep marauders out of the beds. At least we had good asparagus in the spring!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yep SalPal,
              I agree, deer can be dreadful destructive beauties. I hope you discover a successful deterrent for the marauders.
              Asparagus is a tasty crop to look forward too. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Ginny,
      The moths are as big as a hummingbird. The first one I noticed, I thought was a hummingbird flying at night. We try to allow nature to flourish at the end of our gardening season. We know it’s importance for pollinating and balance. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Sheryl,
      It’s fascinating (and very fortunate) that such a large caterpillar isn’t a carnivore. I agree, It’s a amazing that a bird and a caterpillar are close in size. I’m glad the hummingbirds have such sonic speeds to escape all sorts of predators. 🙂

      Like

  3. Lovely pictures, E.C., and wow on that last one! I guess the hummingbird would turn out too quick for the caterpillar even if it weren’t vegan? ‘Caterpillar vs. Hummingbird’ sounds like one of those campy horror flick titles, by the way. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Anita,
      I totally agree, ‘Caterpillar vs. Hummingbird’ does sound like one of those campy horror flick titles. lol If I were still into writing, I might be tempted to try to write a story about them. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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