OT: Hey Butterfly Lovers....(Pictures)

moonwolf_gwSeptember 18, 2011

Hi everyone,

I found this Monarch eclosing in my garden this afternoon. This is a female (I believe) that I found on the side of a pot of forget me nots. I turned the pot around to trim off some flowers and happened to see her there. She is still there now!

Plus I found another chrysalis (green) under the little wooden porch where I keep all my houseplants! The first chrysalis I found is still green too. I hope they hatch soon!

lol Since my hoyas refuse to bloom for right now, this is the best I can do for you all. Enjoy!

Brad AKA Moonwolf

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postpunkgirl(7b Texas)

Very cool find Brad! My friend hatched a bunch of Leopard Moths eggs and raised them to adults... It was really cool watching the whole process and transformation.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 8:41AM
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Nice pictures. Hope your butterflies hatch before cold weather sets in. I have yellow and others (I don't know what kind, maybe monarch), flitting among the passion vines and cassia (or acacia, don't know which one) tree. sometimes there are more than six or seven at a time. They look like they are dancing to music. I love to sit on the patio and just watch them.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 12:22PM
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Congratulations Brad, you have had a great season in your butterfly garden and this must be the grand finale.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 2:12PM
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Cool Brad, love the Monarch, my favorite. Good luck on the newly found chrysalis hatching soon before it gets too cold. I love butterflies and wish that I had enough room outside to plant more fragrant flowers to attract them. Right now, just my purple lantana and my purple sweet potato vines attract them. Once, I saw 6 Monarchs competing for a single blossom.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 3:19PM
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Thank you, everyone!

Well the very first chrysalis that mom and I found on one of her old bird feeders hatched! Here he is! Enjoy! This was taken a little while ago.

I agree that this is the grand finale for sure, Mike! Just one more chrysalis to go!

Poseidon, wow 6 Monarchs! That would be a pretty sight! I've only seen two at a time here.

Sara, the whole process is really cool! I didn't find any eggs but once I found the caterpillars, I was overjoyed!

Ima, anytime I'm outside and happen to see a Monarch, I stop what I'm doing and watch it flutter about to see where it goes :).

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 10:27AM
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6 Monarchs on one flower would be a sight to behold!

Speaking of weird sights, I stumbled out into my kitchen this morning and saw this sitting right outside the door that leads out to the back stairs.

Of course my cat, the fierce predator, was completely ignoring it, so I thought I was imagining things at first. You know, one of those things where maybe no one else can see the pink elephant? Sorry about the dirty door, but I didn't want to disturb him. Anyone smarter about birds have an ID?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 7:30PM
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GG, that bird looks like some kind of hawk ? It also has a head like a turtle. (turtle dove ?) haha.

Yes, Monarchs are very numerous around Tampa Bay and it seems that the purple lantana has the strongest smell to attract them. There were tons of "Flag of Spain" lantana flowers everywhere but the butterflies seem to like the purple ones best.

Drat, Brad posted a pic of his plant, so I had better dig out a decent camera. Watch me not find a single butterfly this week because of that challenge. LOL


    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 7:50PM
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mairzy_dotes(zone 10)

I don't know what that bird is, but it looks sick. It looks like some kind of falcon or hawk type bird,but without the preditory beak. I wonder if it lost it's beak? Poor bird...just doesn't look too well does it.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 10:57PM
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Yeah, that's why I didn't want to disturb him; his behavior didn't seem normal (hence the post). I figured if he was getting some peace dozing in the sun I wasn't going to be the one to wreck it.

Not sure what's up with his beak. Wish my picture quality was better, but I had a lot of other things going on this morning.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 11:25PM
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GG- I think your bird is a female Common Nighthawk. They're related to the Whip-poor-wills and Chuck-wills-widows. I linked a neat little story about them in Minnesota.

Also, I copied this info from whatbird.com:

Common Nighthawk: Medium nightjar with white-speckled, dark upperparts, black-and-white barred underparts, mottled breast, white throat. Wings are long, dark gray with white bars, nearly covering tail when folded. Gray-brown legs and feet. Darting erratic flight with frequent changes of direction.

Range and Habitat

Common Nighthawk: Breeds throughout the U.S. Winters are spent in South America. Well-adapted to urban life: flat-topped gravel roofs provide nesting habitat and lighting systems around buildings serve as foraging areas for insects.

The Common Nighthawk is a nightjar that resides in the open country of North America, including widespread areas of the United States. This species may also be found in burned forest areas. They nest on the bare ground, and at times atop stumps or roofs. In winter months, the Common Nighthawk will migrate to South America, and rarely to western Europe. This species migrates in flocks. They hunt for food at dawn and dusk, catching flying insects on their wings. Due to maintained and increased populations of the Common Nighthawk, the current conservation rating of this species is Least Concern.

Foraging and Feeding
Common Nighthawk: Feeds on mosquitoes, flying ants, moths, beetles, and other insects. Forages day or night on the wing, up to 600 feet above the ground, with its enormous mouth surrounded by bristles ideally suited for aerial capture; alternates slow, full wing beats with bursts of quick shallow beats while hunting. Sometimes feeds on insects attracted to lights. Drinks in flight, skimming the water surface with lower mandible.

I found this adorable picture at http://blog.ronandonovan.com/2010/09/raptor-nests-chicks-and-more-montana-u-s-a/common-nighthawk-nest-distraction_20100804_1/

Here is a link that might be useful: My Minnesota Woods

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 12:45PM
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How did I miss this? GG I think the bird must have felt like he was camouflaged enough not to worry if he just kept still.

TigerDawn great info about a bird most of us never get to see.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 1:05PM
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Ament(5a SD)

Brad, you're going to want to kick me, all the way out here in SD. But the first butterfly is a male. Heh I learned earlier this season how to figure out male and female monarchs. If you look on the hindwing of the first image, part way down on the third line running down the hindwing, it would be the first partial line. You will see what appears to be a little lump/bump like mark. That signifies that this particular monarch is male. If you view the next image, no lump/bump marking on the hindwing of this monarch, which indicates this one is female. ;)

I had to ask on the butterfly forum, when my monarch eclosed earlier this year. :D I hope you don't mind me sharing that little tidbit, I thought you might like to be able to actually know for certain who was what. Hehe!


    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 1:39AM
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