Hummingbirds Back to home Musée de la nature et des sciences Virtual Museum of Canada
Games and Activities Hummingbirds Hummingbird Collections

Species that resemble hummingbirds

A bird

Variable Sunbird
Variable Sunbird
Nectarinia venusta
Credit: Jean Léveillé
(Size: 117.29 kb)

Hummingbirds bear a strange resemblance to sunbirds, birds in the nectariniidae family that are found mainly on the African continent. These birds do not live in the Americas. As the name of this family would lead us to believe, sunbirds feed on the nectar from flowers. Although they do not have the same origins, these birds have evolved in the same way hummingbirds did. The term "sunbird" refers to the metallic reflections on the plumage of the males.

An insect

Hummingbird clearwing moth
Hummingbird clearwing moth
Hemaris thysbe
Credit: Serge Beaudette
(Size: 16.88 kb)

Many people confuse hummingbirds with certain varieties of the sphinx moth. Sphinx moths found in Canada belong to the Hemaris genus. They are heterocera moths, active in the daytime, with a very long proboscis allowing them to reach the nectar at the bottom of the corolla of flowers. Like the hummingbird, they can hover in place. The sound they make when maintaining the same position resembles that produced by hummingbirds, but it's weaker. The most common species in Canada is the Hemaris thysbe, more commonly known as the hummingbird sphinx moth.

If you have problems seeing the Flash animation, get the latest Flash player.
The games do not work in Mac/IE5.2. You can use other browsers.