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Bird (?) in New Jersey

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Old Monday 23rd August 2010, 04:31   #1
Scal2010
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Bird (?) in New Jersey

I'm helping a friend try to figure something out. She's not sure if it's even a bird or large insect, so hopefully one of the experts here will know something. She's never seen anything like this before and everyone she asks doesn't know what it could be.

She's in New Jersey - Here's her description:

It looks like part bird, part butterfly and part bee. It's huge, the size of a baby bird. It's green with see-through wings that never stop moving. It has a short tail, antennaes and one of those long things that butterflies have to get nectar. He follows me around outside and is very friendly.
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Old Monday 23rd August 2010, 06:07   #2
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Hi Scal2010,

A warm welcome to BirdForum from all the Moderators and Admin. Glad to have you on board

I hesitate to offer an ID for the "other side of the pond" but could your mystery be this http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species?l=3437
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Old Monday 23rd August 2010, 06:18   #3
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It's a daytime moth. I don't know the species, I think we have three species in Louisiana, and I don't which or how many you have in New Jersey. I have some photos, maybe I will find them tomorrow. It's quite humorous, because these moths are the size of Rufous Hummingbirds and a lot of people think they are hummingbirds, then later think, "Oh Wait...that was an insect."

No true bird has clear wings, though. It's a moth, we're just not used to realizing that an insect can be so confiding. Also no true bird has an antenna.

I call 'em all hummingbird moths but I really don't think it's just one species. Wikipedia has an entry for Hummingbird Hawk-Moth, with a photo, for Mocroglossum stellatarum, species. I can't copy their picture, just get it by going to Wikipedia and see if that's the right idea.

That's a very good photo of Hummingbird clearwing moth, Hemaris thysbe, at the website www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species=?!=3437 that the other person cited -- I have seen this species myself in Louisiana and I can see from their records map that it occurs in New Jersey. You can get right up on this species, it isn't shy. It must "know" that it mimics hummingbirds, which are extremely bold.
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Old Monday 23rd August 2010, 21:32   #4
Scal2010
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Thank you both. I'm going to share this info with my friend. I appreciate your help!
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Old Monday 23rd August 2010, 21:36   #5
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Yes, it sounds like a clear-winged sphynx moth. If you do a google image search it will show the various forms this moth comes in

And a warm welcome to you
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Old Wednesday 25th August 2010, 01:01   #6
Scal2010
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Mystery solved. My friend looked at the pics and said that was exactly it. I never would have guessed a moth. Thanks everyone!

It's funny because she actually likes him coming around - She said he's very friendly like a hummingbird.
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