"Things You Wouldn't Know If We Didn't Blog Intermittently."
11 August 2010
This Tiger survived a bird attack
Tiger Swallowtails (Papilio glaucus) are not long-distance migrators like Monarchs, but they are powerful fliers - perhaps because their food plants are trees (cherry, chokecherry, ash, cottonwood, poplar, willow, birch, apple, maple, basswood). They descend from the trees down to our garden to nectar, and like hummingbirds they seem to prefer tubular flowers like Monarda, where they can take advantage of their long proboscis.
I photographed this one sunning on a leaf because I was interested in how white his wings are (the classic color is a pale yellow). It wasn't until I was processing the photos that I noticed the linear notch in his right forewing [click photo to enlarge]. He clearly has survived an attack by a bird; it's impressive how much structural damage butterflies can sustain to their wings and still remain aerodynamically intact.