Monday, August 14, 2017

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly

 Giant Swallowtails are new residents of Minnesota.  They are the largest butterfly in North America, and a few used to migrate north into our area each summer, but a warming climate allows their caterpillars to survive our winters now.

I found this one sipping mineral fluids from a dirt parking area this afternoon in Elm Creek Park Reserve.  Butterflies with a seven inch wing span are fun to see.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Hummingbirds Have Long Tongues

 This Ruby-throated Hummingbird has been feeding every day lately from the Trumpet Vine off my deck. This is either a female or a young bird from this year as there are no ruby colored feathers on the throat.

This picture shows how long the tongue is as it prepares to enter another flower for more nectar.
 The Trumpet Vine flowers are long and it looks like this hummingbird needs its head, neck, bill, and tongue to get to the nectar at the very bottom of the flower.

It would visit each flower and then return an hour later for a second visit, and then repeat this all day.

The Hummingbird would often rest in the Lilac Bushes nearby after working the flowers for ten or fifteen minutes, as seen in the picture below.