Thursday, September 6, 2007

Preying Mantis

The praying mantis are getting pretty big and are no longer content to eat the small bugs in the garden. Now they are after larger prey. This one above keeps getting on the hummingbird feeder in the front yard, (yes, I'm still feeding the hummingbirds, but now I have two feeders, story to come later). I've knocked it off with the broom three times already today and it keeps climbing back up. I've seen it actually grabbing at the unsuspecting hummingbirds. Thankfully they are too fast and so far it hasn't harmed any. I had seen a story about a praying mantis eating a hummingbird, I guess it may be more common than I thought for the mantis to eat something as large as a hummingbird. I'm very glad that no hummers were eaten here today. Now if I can just keep deterring those pesky mantids until the hummingbirds fly south.
This one is in the backyard and stayed very still under the verbena stalking butterflies and hummingbirds. I knocked it down after it almost caught a silver spotted skipper.
I've been glad to have the mantis in my garden, and really felt that it was a beneficial insect. Now that it's larger it is becoming a pest and try to eat things that I consider to be more beneficial, the pollinators. Not a good trade off as far as I'm concerned.

I also saw this really large hawk, I believe it may be a Coopers hawk, since we have had those around before. It was diving in my back neighbors shrubs and trees looking for smaller birds.


Bek said...

I've been following your blog for a few weeks now. It seems your hummingbirds just can't enjoy your feeder;( I've never seen a praying mantis in nature. I think I don't want to have it either after what you are telling about it. A great picture from the hawk. Did you get used to your new camera already?

Carol said...

Now's the time of year I have to watch to make sure a praying mantis does 'hitchhike' on my back or shoulder and get carried into the house with me. I like having them in the garden, but yours sound vicious (or very hungry).

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Bek, I'm so glad you've been visiting my blog. Thank you for leaving a comment. I'm still learning the camera and I'm very surprised the hawk picture turned out since I was moving when I took it.

Carol, I don't think I'd want to experience having a mantis on my shoulder. I've had the Japanese beetles in my hair before (and even in my pants)and that is bad enough.

Connie said...

Your title, 'Preying' mantis is very clever. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hello All,
I found a praying mantis in my dish drainer today so I found your blog while researching the internet. I finally carried the whole thing outside this morning and here it is 6 p.m. and the mantis is still on the drainer. Very interesting. It could be the same one that was peeking up at my by my hose reel last week and maybe it hitched a ride on my shoulder?

Anonymous said...

We live in the country and frequently keep the doors open when it's nice, needless to say we have a few unwanted six legged visitors. Last week one of those visitors happened to be a praying mantis, a lovely gray color. At first it was kind of a novelty to have a "pet" insect then we started to notice that there were fewer insects congregating on the windows. Looking more closely around the frame our "pet" was preening herself. She can stay as long as she wants.