Not who we were intending to feed
Occasionally we run into an issue with our birdfeeders. This time the birdbaths were probably just as much to blame. Then again, the hawk knows that there will probably be something he/she? considers to be food here.We are not 100% positive, but we believe that this Coopers Hawk caught a young Northern Mockingbird in our front yard. While frequently seen attempting to scare insects out of cover in our slightly long grass, they also seem to have a fascination for Pennington seed blocks. Mockingbirds are also one the top three splashers (emptying the birdbath by splashing the water out while bathing) in our birdbaths. This happens sometimes and while it is a natural event, it is not necessarily one we like to see.
A few more pictures from that batch of caterpillars
They start off so small. (There are 2 eggs in the picture above)On their way to becoming eating machines. (4 caterpillars near the middle of the picture, click on the image to get a full size version)The black swallowtail after pumping his wings full. This set of pictures was from a couple of years ago. Usually, the butterflies from the first batch of the year emerge around the beginning of July. As mentioned in the last post, we will often plant fennel for the purpose of hosting the caterpillars. It doesn’t cost much and seeing the new butterflies is definitely worth it. They (Black Swallowtail caterpillars) will eat parsley, carrots, dill and several other related plants. The ones in our area seem to prefer fennel.
One other interesting thing happened with the fennel. It grew back the next year. If the conditions are right it is a biennial or even a perennial. It was even bigger than the year before, but the caterpillars seemed up to the challenge.