Variable SunbirdNectarinia venustaCredit: Jean Léveillé
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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.
Hummingbird clearwing mothHemaris thysbeCredit: Serge Beaudette
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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.