Jun 10 2009

Butterflies or What to look for in mid-to-Late June

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, puddling (photo by Dianne Machesney)

“The world is so full of a number of things,
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” - A Child’s Garden of Verses, Robert Louis Stevenson

That happy thought perfectly describes the month of June in western Pennsylvania when “children go to bed by day.”   Our days are long and warm, filled with flowers, birds, babies and butterflies.

Here’s a quick list of what to look for through the rest of June.  For even more, see Chuck Tague’s phenology.

  • The summer solstice – and our the longest day of the year – will occur at 1:45am on June 21.  Will you be awake for it?  Not me.
  • Babies are everywhere.  Fledgling birds, including juvenile peregrines, chase their parents for a handout. Young squirrels pursue momma hoping she wasn’t serious about weaning.
  • With June flowers come even more butterflies and moths.  I’m “Butterfly Challenged” but here’s one I can identify that I know you’ll see this month:  the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.   Chuck has an excellent list of June butterflies in his phenology.
  • Enjoy birdsong in these last weeks of June.  In July the birds will begin to fall silent, species by species, as the purpose of their songs – territory and mate attraction – ends for the year.  The birds who raise more than one brood (robins and cardinals) will continue to sing, but others like the ovenbird will stop.
  • Watch for fledglings.  Listen for the begging calls of baby birds.  Sometimes you can locate a nest this way.
  • Watch out for mosquitoes and ticks.  Look for the fun bugs.  The dragonflies are here, even at Schenley Plaza.  Soon we’ll see fireflies.
  • Enjoy June wildflowers.  Visit a state park, forest or woodland bike trail near you.

Enjoy it now.  No need to wear a coat!

(photo by Dianne Machesney)

One response so far

One Response to “Butterflies or What to look for in mid-to-Late June”

  1. faith Cornellon 10 Jun 2009 at 7:41 am

    What an interesting fact about birdsong. Didn’t know the reason it was quieter later on. Because now I so enjoy the early morning singing & even on my deck rail. The hummingbird comes very early also but never heard it singing because it is going from petunia to petunia eating. I’ve seen the dark colored blue I think butterfly last summer on my hanging plants. No others, just moths in evening. Thank you for so many facts to enjoy. Faith C.

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