Aug 01 2009

Thistles and moths or What to look for in early August

Published by at 7:07 am under Phenology

Clearwing moth and bumblebee at Swamp Thistle (photo by Chuck Tague)

Summer has turned the corner.  In August it’s on the ebb. 

If you didn’t have a calendar, how would you know?  Here’s a quick list of what to look for outdoors.  For a detailed list, especially flowers and butterflies, see Chuck Tague’s phenology

  • Hummingbird Clearwing Moths drink from Swamp Thistles.  This moth resembles a hummingbird when it flies.  Look closely; don’t be fooled.
  • Late summer flowers are here — Coneflowers and Bonesets, Wingstems and Sunflowers, Goldenrods and Asters — and so are their accompanying butterflies and moths.
  • Bird song is rare.  Only cardinals sing at dawn in my neighborhood and soon they’ll be silent too.
  • Hummingbird migration begins.  Visit any place with lots of flowers and you’ll see hummingbirds zipping by.  In the eastern U.S. we have only ruby-throated hummingbirds, but during migration there’s a chance a rufous hummingbird will arrive.  Keep a watch on your feeders.
  • Warblers and shorebirds leave for the south. 
  • Many adult birds, including peregrine falcons, are molting.
  • Some trees show late-season insect or fungal disease.  Stands of black locusts are brown.  Fall webworms will make tents in the trees. 
  • By mid-August we should be hearing katydids but I’m not holding my breath.  I’m still waiting to hear cicadas and crickets in the numbers I expected in June and July.  What a strange year!

(photo by Chuck Tague)

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Thistles and moths or What to look for in early August”

  1. Lindy Joneson 02 Aug 2009 at 12:40 pm

    I can’t believe it’s already time for the hummingbird migration!  Remember to keep your hummingbird feeders full.  They’ll need the energy for their long journey.  Also, look for them next year by checking the hummingbird migration map!

  2. Tracion 18 Aug 2009 at 11:57 am

    I FINALLY got a hummingbird!! I’m so excited!! I just saw it! I need to immediately go out and put fresh liquid in the feeder. It seemed to be all brown. Beautiful little thing!! This is just thrilling!!

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