Monday Mystery Answered

IMG_4209(1)Last Monday, Sally Teschon asked: What's going on in the above photo?

Two great answers from Diane Van Kempen and Janet Terchek.

Diane  said:

The milkweed aphids (Aphis nerii)and a monarch caterpillar are pigging out on milkweed. If you’re trying to nursemaid a caterpillar, these guys eat about 10 of those big leaves a day. That’s why you have to plant lots of them!

The milkweed aphids are also called oleander aphids. Down south, the oleanders are very prolific. They have a similar milky poisonous sap. I’ve never seen a monarch caterpillar on them, however.

Janet said:

Monarch caterpillar and milkweed bugs enjoying a meal?
Here is even more info on insects that feed on milkweed.

Opening Day at State Line Hawk Watch

IMG_4068Yesterday was opening day at State Line Hawk Watch, but apparently the word did not reach the birds, at least the 90 minutes I was there. Human turnout was a tad slim as well, but great to see some familiar faces.

Highlights included a resident Pileated, an Eastern Bluebird and some Chipping Sparrow. Not exactly downtown Raptorville.

Also saw the Jill Bennetta memorial for the first time, complete with nearby Red-spotted Purples and a nearby Common Buckeye. 

The folks who put this together did an awesome job on this wonderful tribute.