Eastern Tiger Swallowtails flit about the gardens in numbers especially when the lilacs are in bloom. Unfortunately for them, it is a peak feeding time for baby birds too. Luckily tigers are in abundance so birds are not a great threat, but it is hard to see them being persistently pursued by Catbirds and Chickadees. Often tiger wings are tattered, so to find a fresh and perfect butterfly is a lucky sighting in our gardens.
Folded wings offer other patterns and colors to help identify these three Swallowtail cousins.
In twenty-twelve I had the joy of raising and releasing this Black Swallowtail into the gardens. I have raised hundreds of Monarch Butterflies over the years but this was only my second experience raising a Black Swallowtail.
Strikingly patterned Swallowtail butterflies grace our world throughout the summer months and add another dimension of enchantment to the gardens and fields. Of course, beyond human enjoyment, all butterflies are important pollinators, and being near the bottom of the food chain, they are, sadly, important food for birds.
By clicking on the words highlighted in red above you can learn more about these Swallowtails.
Now, in the middle of a snowstorm, I so look forward to another year of enjoying the gardens and butterflies.
In honor of my fourth anniversary of blogging, I have given the blog a facelift and added a search bar so that readers can now type in an item of interest and articles will appear at the top of the screen.