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