Into August 8-4-20

August 04, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

 

Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies are often seen in the garden and woodland. More tiny eggs were laid on 7-26-20 by this female who quickly darted upwards before I could catch her ovipositing. A male has been nectaring at the purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea).The egg develops into the first instar caterpillar within five days. By the seventh day, the hungry little caterpillar has emerged from the egg and eaten enough leaf matter to lay down the silk mat and fold the leaf into a protective covering. 

 

 

7-26-20 Spicebush Swallowtail takes off after laying an egg7-26-20 Spicebush Swallowtail takes off after laying an egg 7-28-20 Spicebush Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower7-28-20 Spicebush Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower

7-29-20 Spicebush Swallowtail egg day 37-29-20 Spicebush Swallowtail egg day 3 8-1-20 Spicebush Swallowtail larva first instar on day 68-1-20 Spicebush Swallowtail larva first instar on day 6 8-2-20 Spicebush Swallowtail larva first instar on day 78-2-20 Spicebush Swallowtail larva first instar on day 7

 

Eastern Phoebes have been very actively looking for food here in our Sanctuary. Warm days get tiny insects moving, and this young Phoebe, a flycatcher, was nabbing gnats over the pond. This bird seems to have gotten the hang of it.

 

7-26-20 Eastern Phoebe juvenile in Spicebush7-26-20 Eastern Phoebe juvenile in Spicebush 7-26-20 Eastern Phoebe juvenile with gnat7-26-20 Eastern Phoebe juvenile with gnat

7-26-20 Eastern Phoebe juvenile7-26-20 Eastern Phoebe juvenile

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds also search for tiny insects. The nectar and sugar water at feeders just fuels this insect-catching behavior. To me, it looked like that was exactly what this hummingbird was doing. 

 

7-28-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Purple Coneflower-zoom in7-28-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Purple Coneflower-zoom in 7-28-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Purple Coneflower7-28-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Purple Coneflower 7-28-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Purple Coneflower7-28-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Purple Coneflower

 

These birds do love to nectar at Cardinal flower and Marsh Milkweed, which is just opening its flowers on warm days.

 

7-28-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Cardlinal flower7-28-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Cardlinal flower

7-28-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Cardlinal flower7-28-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Cardlinal flower

7-28-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Marsh Milkweed7-28-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Marsh Milkweed

 

The American Robins have been coming in by sixes and twelves to grab berries off the Rough-leaf Dogwood trees. The Black Cherries are also ripe and ready for them.

  7-29-20 American Robin eating Rough-leaf Dogwood berries7-29-20 American Robin eating Rough-leaf Dogwood berries

7-30-20 American Robin eating Black Cherries (Prunus serotina)7-30-20 American Robin eating Black Cherries (Prunus serotina)

 

Yesterday, one of the young Eastern Phoebes checked out the Blackhaw fruit after grabbing some dogwood berries. However, this fruit must turn dark purplish black before it's ready to eat. Supposedly they're safe for humans, but we'll leave them for the birds.

 

8-3-20 Eastern Phoebe at Blackhaw fruit (Viburnum prunifolium)8-3-20 Eastern Phoebe at Blackhaw fruit (Viburnum prunifolium)

 

This morning, one of the Ruby-throats was defending the south feeder and would turn its head in every direction, checking for invaders. By late October, these hummingbirds will have gained enough weight to be well on their way to their winter homes.

 

8-4-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird8-4-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 8-4-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird8-4-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 8-4-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird8-4-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 8-4-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird8-4-20 Ruby-throated Hummingbird

 

We have beautiful cool weather now for a few days. Time to get back outside and see if any migrants are about.

The first to move south will be on their way soon. 

 

 

 

 

 


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