Observation of the week: May 8 to 14, 2021

Hello Butterfly Blitz participants! Welcome to our Observation of the Week (OOTW) series of journal posts. Each week throughout the Butterfly Blitz we will choose one observation to feature.

We might choose the OOTW for a few different reasons – such as the composition of the photo, interesting behaviours shown, or a particularly rare species. If your observation is chosen, we’ll reach out to you to ask you a bit about your photo and how you found the butterfly.

If you’re a member of the project, you should get a notification on your iNaturalist home page each time an OOTW is published. You can also check on previous posts by clicking on the “project journal” button under the project description here.

Our first OOTW of the 2021 Butterfly Blitz is this Mourning Cloak, seen by @mckinleyfamily – an enthusiastic group of six Butterfly Blitz participants. The Mourning Cloak was seen by mom Tracy and the four kids while on a hike at Island Lake CA.

Tracy says: “We were getting close to the end of the hike, when I mentioned to my youngest daughter that it was bizarre that we hadn't noticed a single butterfly on our hike. A few seconds later, as if the butterflies had heard us, the kiddos called out ‘Two butterflies!’.”

The McKinley family were able to photograph this butterfly as it was resting on a tree trunk, which is a common spot to see Mourning Cloaks. This species gets most of their liquid nutrients from tree sap, mud, and decaying organic matter – including animal dung – and not from flower nectar.

Their feeding habits are one reason that Mourning Cloaks are one of the longest-lived butterflies in Canada – living for 10 to 12 months! Adult Mourning Cloaks spend the winter tucked into bark cracks and other crevices and emerge on the first warm spring days in March. Since there aren’t really any flowers around at that time of year, its handy to be able to use food sources that are readily available.

Tracy and he kids weren’t sure at first what butterfly species this was but were pleased to be able to put a name on it through iNaturalist. “We were all so thrilled, it was awesome! We were all very excited to participate in the Butterfly Blitz before this happened, after this beauty posed for us and the awesome iNaturalist community helped us identify her, we were even more excited to take part in this project!”.

The CVC Butterfly Blitz team is really looking forward to hearing more of your stories of discovery this summer as we share our observations of the week. Happy butterflying!

Anotado por lltimms lltimms, 19 de mayo de 2021 a las 05:33 PM

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