I was sitting out on the back deck a couple weeks ago (coincidentally with a guest who works for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources) and we noticed these fluttering things hanging around the flowers that looked like hummingbirds. But, they were a little different than a hummingbird. I snapped a few photos but they flutter around and are hard to catch with my smart phone camera.
They seem to like some little white flowers we had at the time, but also other flowers. They are almost exactly the same size as a hummingbird, curious critters.
It turns out they are technically a “White-lined sphinx moth” (Hyles lineata), a species of hawk moth. The caterpillars feed on morning glory plants, elm, apple, 4 o’clocks, and several less well known plants. The moths pollinate just like hummingbirds and defend their nectar sources. They are interesting moths indeed.