Avies, insecta, et mammalia…

Ah, summer is back, it’s good to hear the cicadas again, and we’ve got a raft of new characters to check out today!

Let’s start with the first new bird I’ve spotted on the pond in quite a while. This appears to be a juvenile black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), since is does not have the “dark cap” that juvenile green herons are supposed to have. Hot diggity dog!

Next, we’ve got this curiosity, what looks for all the world to be yet another, bright-blue, male indigo bunting, but with a little bit of a yellow belly, and I have no idea what that’s about.

Meanwhile, in phylum Arthropoda, we have what appear to be a pair of luxurious-looking Virginia tiger moths (Spilosoma virginica), doing their part to make more yellow woolly bear caterpillars. Yay!

Speaking of caterpillars, get a load of this guy, a milkweed tussock moth, aka milkweed tiger moth caterpillar (Euchaetes egle), another caterpillar that likes milkweed.

But wait, there’s more! Here’s our first dark morph of the female eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus). She was noticeably bigger than the black swallowtails I’ve been seeing lately, and the brown tint on the underside (ventral) of her forwings stood out as well.

Here’s her top (dorsal) side.

And, she wasn’t alone. Here’s a male, which we’ve seen before.

Finally, while Anne and I were in the park last evening to check out the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn, which are resplendent right now, I managed to capture this image on my phone of our first new mammal in a while, a raccoon (Procyon lotor) grabbing an early evening snack.

Something about the way the flash on my phone flickered before taking the picture made it always face the other way at the crucial moment. I’ve got a half dozen just like this, even though I could see it looking my way in between. Oh well.

And there you have it. Just when we might have thought the parade must be coming to an end, it just keeps on going.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

2 thoughts on “Avies, insecta, et mammalia…

  1. Hi! Lois has been a long-time friend of mine and she turned me on to your incredible blog? Email? Anyway, I am in awe of how you find all this fauna and flora. I particularly appreciate the research you do to tell us what’s what. We walk every morning in woodsy areas and we’re lucky to see a cardinal, although this summer I saw a towhee. That was big for us. Love your discerning eye! Thank you for sharing. I would be happy to donate to your cause.


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