Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wellesley Butterflies

I went to Wellesley College campus to look for butterflies.  They have a lot of nice natural areas throughout the campus.  The temperature was about 94 degrees but felt much hotter.  UGH.  Not bad in the shade, I admit; otherwise, I might not have stayed out long at all.

Well, I searched high and low and only saw two butterflies.  There was lots of milkweed and only one single butterfly on it.  Can it be too hot for butterflies?

Banded Hairstreak

poss. Dun Skipper

Song Sparrow

American Goldfinch

I came up with a new question about birds today.  "Do birds pant when they're hot?" The two birds above were not singing or making any other kind of noise, but kept their mouths open.  I have since read up on it, and yes, when the temperature is above 92 degrees, a bird's body may start to overheat.  

Panting causes more moisture to evaporate, and the evaporation cools the body.  OK, I'm more than midway through life, and I never knew a bird did this type of knowledge escape me until today?  I've seen plenty of dogs panting, but never a bird until today!  I love learning new things!


Giving up on Wellesley College, I moved on to Elm Bank Reservation to visit the gardens at the Mass Horticultural Society, hoping there'd be butterflies there.  I did see a few, but still far less than I expected.  At least the flowers were beautiful!!!!

Wild Indigo Duskywing

 Silver-Spotted Skipper

Mourning Cloak

Orchard Oriole

Blue Dasher


Oh, by the way, there was a birding challenge issued for Fourth of July.  The idea was to keep a list of any birds seen today that meet the following criteria:
  1. "American" in the name
  2. "Red", "White", or "Blue" in the name
  3. Bird is an official state bird
  4. Bird has one of the 50 states in its name
Here are my "Fourth of July" challenge birds:
  1. American Goldfinch
  2. American Robin
  3. Blue Jay
  4. Northern Cardinal (state bird of IL, IN, KY, NC, OH, VA, WV)
  5. Red-Winged Blackbird
  6. White-Breasted Nuthatch
  7. Wild Turkey (state game bird of AL, SC, MA)
  8. Northern Mockingbird (state bird of AR, FL, MS, SC, TN, TX)
Forgive my short list, but we did host a BBQ today and it was darn hot out there, so I was not that excited to be out!

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