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With Gull, Albatross, Crow, Jay, Swift, & Owl, each of them a Butterfly 

Armas Hill has presented the "Birdline", originally from Philadelphia, on the phone and internet for over 3 decades, and on the radio in Delaware for about 10 years.


A List & Photo Gallery of North American Birds, in 6 Parts

A List & Photo Gallery of North American Mammals  

A Chronological List of Upcoming FONT Tours     Other Birdlines/Naturelines

Photos here of species referred to in this October 2, 2012 edition of the Birdline/Natureline:

Above: an Owl Butterfly,
Caligo eurilochus brasiliensis,
Below: an American Barn Owl 



The Birdline & Natureline for October 2, 2012:
With Gull, Albatross, Jay, Crow, Swift, Owl, and yes even Puffin, all of them Butterflies

Before the butterflies just named in the title above, some recent news about birds:

Last time, mention was made here of a FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER, from South America, being on Long Island, New York on September 19.
That same day, a FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER was in Maryland, in Anne Arundel County.

In North America, most SWAINSON'S HAWKS are in the West. But, in the East, last month, SWAINSON'S HAWKS were seen:
in New Hampshire on September 10 at the Pack Monadnock hawk watch near Peterborough,
in Maryland on September 15, a dark morph, over Hooper's Island, that was photographed, and
in New Jersey on September 25 at Cape May, near the hawk watch at Cape May Point.
Most SWAINSON'S HAWKS, elsewhere, are now on their way to Argentina.

At the north end of the New Jersey coast, a SAY'S PHOEBE was found at Sandy Hook on September 27. 3 days later, a SAY'S PHOEBE was at the south end of the New Jersey coast at Cape May. The SAY'S PHOEBE is normally another Westerner.  

SELASPHORUS HUMMINGBIRDS, from the West, have been in the East. As many as 7 have been reported so far in Pennsylvania, including one noted here last time in Allentown and Walnutport. All so far are known or assumed to be RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS. The one in Allentown has been there now for 3 weeks.
A RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD has been the last couple days in Cape May, New Jersey.
In upstate New York, in Phoenix, that is Phoenix NY, a there has been a RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD from September 17 until at least September 29.  

A WESTERN KINGBIRD was in Erie, Pennsylvania, at Presque Isle, on September 29 & 30.
Also in Erie on September 29: an early RED-NECKED GREBE, a LAPLAND LONGSPUR, and an EASTERN RED BAT that flew across Lake Erie from Ontario, Canada.

As was the case for a while in August, a REDDISH EGRET was at Brigantine Refuge in New Jersey, on September 29, only.

Last time, mention was made here of a LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, from Canada, in eastern Virginia.
Another LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was recently seen elsewhere in Virginia, on September 24, west of Mill Gap in Highland County.
Some of that endangered population of SHRIKES that nested in Ontario, Canada this year were banded. Some were not.
If anywhere in eastern North America, you happen to find a LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, please check for a band, and photograph if you can. Submit to Jessica Steiner at: jessica@wildlifepreservation.ca

PINE SISKINS have been appearing in the eastern US recently, as far south so far as Delaware and probably further.
In upstate New York, at Saranac Lake, there have been numbers of PINE SISKINS, some EVENING GROSBEAKS visiting feeders with sunflower seeds, and some RED CROSSBILLS feeding on older cones of Red Spruce.
At feeders in Lake Placid, New York, PINE SISKINS have been daily visitors, all this year, with typically about a dozen or so, but in recent days nearly a hundred.

Some "northern birds" that will not come south have been seen recently in Maine.
West of Baxter Park on September 20, there were both BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS and AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKERS, 4 of the former, 2 of the latter, plus 12 SPRUCE GROUSE, and 7 GRAY JAYS.  

The MIGRATION of BIRDS has been well underway in the eastern US.
At Cape May, New Jersey, from August 16 to September 30, MIGRANTS have been counted, with over 30,000 PASSERINE BIRDS during that time.
Over 10,000 of them were identified WARBLERS, with 34 species of WARBLERS.
On September 29, there was a massive flight of BLACKPOLL WARBLERS, with an estimated 2,500.

Also counted at Cape May this season has been a record of over 1,500 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES. 
This Cape May summary is from a report well-done by Cameron Rutt.

Another place that has been good for BIRD MIGRATION along the east coast of the US has been Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island.

A NORTHERN WHEATEAR was reported earlier in September in Massachusetts.

A Birdline reader in Thailand tells us (even that far away) that she enjoys following our bird news and commentary. Thanks, Pornrapee.

And another overseas Birdline reader and friend, Trevor in Australia, has recently completed a well-done book about BUTTERFLIES in his part of the world. 
It's entitled "Butterflies of Coastal Southeast Queensland, an Identification Guide", and it can be viewed on line:

When I was looking at the text and photos in that book, I noticed that there were BUTTERFLIES with common names that are often thought of as names of BIRDS. Such as: GULL, ALBATROSS, and CROW.

A butterfly called an Albatross

The CAPER, or AUSTRALIAN, GULL, Cepora perimale, is in the PIERIDAE family as is the YELLOW, or COMMON, ALBATROSS, Appias paulina.
Trevor tells us that the GULL and the ALBATROSS are very similar, and that often, when seen only in rapid flight, the butterfly is referred to as a "GULLBATROSS".
And of course, there's even more confusion as Appias paulina, or the YELLOW ALBATROSS, is not always yellow, but white. And the vernacular name COMMON ALBATROSS is often given to another butterfly in the Appias genus, Appias albina.
And having said that, some of the Appias butterflies of Asia are called PUFFINS !
There is, for example, the MALAY PUFFIN, Appias cardena.

But back to the butterflies of coastal southeast Queensland, Australia.
Among the DANAIDS, or MILKWEED BUTTERFLIES such as the MONARCH, in the NYMPHALIDAE family, there are the CROWS:
the COMMON CROW, Euploea core, and the PURPLE CROW, Euploea tulliolus.

In the area of the western Pacific, there is also a butterfly called the JAY.
The COMMON JAY, Graphium doson, is one of the SWALLOWTAILS.

The butterfly known as the Common Jay

The above photo of the COMMON JAY is elsewhere in this FONT website in the listing of Japanese butterflies. As are photos of the ALBATROSS, Appias paulina, by whatever name - actually with one of its other common names, the CEYLON LESSER ALBATROSS.
And the DARK CERULEAN (a butterfly, not a warbler), the PEACOCK, the SMALL BRANDED SWIFT, and the BROWN AWL.
Here's a link to see the photos just referred to:


And, yes, in Asia, a PEACOCK can be either a bird or a butterfly.

The SWIFTS are amongst (that's Australian) the SKIPPERS.

And while the AWL is not quite right for OWL, it's close. 

And actually, there are OWL BUTTERFLIES in the American tropics, in the Caligo genus and others. Big, often brownish, butterflies with large "eyes" on their wings, that tend to fly as darkness falls.

Lastly in this thread, there are BUTTERFLIES in Asia called BIRDWINGS even though they have, of course, "BUTTERFLY-WINGS".

And while to a person who knows & likes BIRDS, the name SWALLOW-TAILED KITE conjures a nice image, the name KITE-SWALLOWTAIL does so as well for one who knows & likes BUTTERFLIES. 

Referring to BUTTERFLIES now in eastern North America:

In August 2012, a study was released that related some notable changes in BUTTERFLY POPULATIONS in the northeastern US, in Massachusetts.
The Harvard study, conducted over 2 decades, found that populations of WARM-CLIMATE-ADAPTED BUTTERFLIES increased by as much as a thousand fold, while those of COLD-CLIMaTE-ADAPTED SPECIES, that have been native to Massachusetts, declined substantially, by as much as 90 per cent.
Data was collected by the Massachusetts Butterfly Club, an amateur naturalist group that tracks butterfly sightings and numbers.

17 of 21 NORTHERN BUTTERFLY SPECIES in Massachusetts were found to be declining, including the ATLANTIS FRITILLARY and the ACADIAN HAIRSTREAK.
12 SOUTHERN BUTTERFLY SPECIES, which were rare or unseen in Massachusetts in the 1980s & 1990s, were found to have increased tremendously, especially in warmer parts of the state.
Such species include the ZABULON SKIPPER and the GIANT SWALLOWTAIL.

For most of the species in the study, climate change seems to be a stronger cause than habitat change.

Historically, it's interesting to note that there was an incursion of the GIANT SWALLOWTAIL in the northeastern US in the late 19th Century, in the 1870s & 1880s, as chronicled by various entomologists.
Later, in the 20th century, that butterfly virtually disappeared in the northeastern US.

During the past few weeks, some SOUTHERLY BUTTERFLIES have made their way north, as they tend to do in the late summer:

LONG-TAILED SKIPPERS have been seen in at least 9 counties in New Jersey: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Morris, Ocean, and Somerset.        
Other southerners seen lately in New Jersey have included: OCALA SKIPPERS, COMMON CHECKERED-SKIPPERS, CLOUDLESS SULPHURS, and apparently the 4th GIANT SWALLOWTAIL in New Jersey this year in Ocean County.  

Earlier I referred to OWL-BUTTERFLIES. Now, here, let's refer to OWLS (the birds):

One of the best books anywhere about OWLS was published earlier this year.
It's entitled "Owls of the World, A Photographic Guide", by Heimo Mikkola. In the book, the photographs of virtually every OWL in the world, are tremendous, and the text is informative and excellent.
Heimo Mikkola is an owl expert who has been studying OWLS for a long time. Another book of his, "Owls of Europe" has long been in my library. It was published in 1983.

In the 2012 book, there is some interesting "new" taxonomy, including:
the AMERICAN BARN OWL split from that in the Old World, along with some other BARN OWLS in the area of the Caribbean,
the splitting of OWLS in the Galapagos Islands, both the BARN and the SHORT-EARED OWLS, 
and the splitting of the FERRUGINOUS PYGMY OWL into various "species" including the RIDGWAY'S PYGMY OWL in Central America, and the CHACO PYGMY OWL in, among other places, southwestern Brazil.
A number of other adjustments have been made to SCREECH OWLS and other PYGMY OWLS in Central & South America.
The MOTTLED OWL is treated as an exclusively South American species, with now the MEXICAN WOOD OWL in Mexico & Central America.  
In all, there are 249 different OWLS in the book.

Links follow here to the updated information about OWLS in the book noted above.

In North America:

Lastly, here, the note that in South America, the World Land Trust is currently working to preserve rainforest in the Serra Bonita mountains in eastern Brazil that is habitat supporting rare & endemic flora & fauna, including critically endangered MONKEYS, the YELLOW-BREASTED CAPUCHIN and the GOLDEN-HEADED LION TAMARIN.
Thought you might like to know that the effort is being made.

What might also be of interest: a photo with over 30 STELLER'S EIDER. To see it, click the link:  www.focusonnature.com

The Birdline & Natureline are affiliates of Focus On Nature Tours.

Armas Hill has presented the Birdline, originally from Philadelphia, on the phone and the internet for over 3 decades, and on the radio in Delaware for 10 years.

For an archive of some previous Birdlines & Naturelines:  


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