By Mary Rapati
The day was warm and the sky blue, it was a perfect day for the NABA count.
49 species were seen – the most ever seen. New to the count were Tawny Crescents, Little Glassywing, Northern Cloudywing and Cherry Gall Azures.
Up in numbers were – Monarchs, Pearl Crescents, Applachian Brown, Delaware Skippers, Northern Crescents, Eyed Brown, Black Swallowtail, Dun Skipper, Pecks Skipper and Tawny Edged Skipper. Down in numbers were – Common Ringlets, Orange & Clouded Sulphurs and Baltimore Checkerspots. No American Ladies or Dorcas Coppers were seen. It was good to see the Striped Hairstreak again (last seen in the 1998 count but has been seen by us during every year in Bruce County).
In total for the whole summer: Monarchs had an amazing year and the migration south in the area was very noticeable. The Sulphurs started off in late April/early May in good numbers but cold weather had an affect on them. These butterflies have continuous broods and it took all summer for them to recover but they never came to their average numbers. But I have no worries about these and they should be back to average numbers next year. The Giant Swallowtail was reported seen by various people in the area (it is not seen every year in our area but has been spotted more frequently now). If you get a chance to see this butterfly please do, it has a wing span of 4 to 5 inches and has a unique flight. Since this butterfly is so large it cannot land on a flower (the plant will bend over), it is similar to a hummingbird when feeding. Three stages of its life have been recorded this year – egg, caterpillar and adult.