Monday, June 15, 2009

Butterflies!

ButterflyButterfly #1 [California Tortoiseshell], Canyon Creek Campground, Jefferson Co., Oregon on 7 June 2007 by Greg Gillson.

 

Most birders have at least a passing interest in all forms of life. Many have become deeply immersed in butterfly and dragonfly identification. At this point, I have decided not to let my obsessions with birds extend to these colorful flying insects. But sometimes they demand attention. Such was the case on the Woodpecker Wonderland Bird Festival held last week at Camp Sherman, Oregon.

While leading bird tours in the Abbott Creek area of the now 6-year-old B&B Burn, I was impressed with the numbers of butterflies along the Metolius River at Canyon Creek Campground. So I took several photos of butterflies sunning themselves. Except for monarchs and swallowtail butterflies, I am pretty much ignorant of butterfly identification. In fact, I'm not sure what the differences really are between butterflies and moths.

So I present some photos here and hope that my readers will tell me what these are. For now, these are just "pretty butterflies" the same way that some people enjoy "pretty birds" without a strong need to name and chase them. If you know what these are, please use the "comments" link to post your response. Thank you.

ButterflyTiny little blackish Butterfly #2 [Two-banded Checkered Skipper], Canyon Creek Campground, Jefferson Co., Oregon on 7 June 2007 by Greg Gillson.

 


ButterflyAnother dark one, Butterfly #3 [Northern Cloudywing], Canyon Creek Campground, Jefferson Co., Oregon on 7 June 2007 by Greg Gillson.

 


ButterflyThe undersides of the wings were pale with orange dots on this on, Butterfly #4A [Dotted Blue (sp.)], Canyon Creek Campground, Jefferson Co., Oregon on 7 June 2007 by Greg Gillson.

 


ButterflyThis same butterfly had blue wings when open, Butterfly #4B [Dotted Blue (sp.)], Canyon Creek Campground, Jefferson Co., Oregon on 7 June 2007 by Greg Gillson.

3 comments:

  1. The first one is easy, it's a California Tortoiseshell. This is a species that routinely irrupts into massive migrations.

    The second appears to be a very worn Two-banded Checkered Skipper. Worn individuals can be difficult to separate from Common Checckered Skipper.

    The third looks to be a Northern Cloudywing (another skipper).

    The last is a real challenge because the taxonomy is in dispute. It is one of the Dotted Blues. The bug in your photos appears to be the one Pyle calls "columbiae" which is apparently dead center in the taxonomic battle...

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  2. Western Tailed-Blue (Cupido amyntula)

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  3. I think an interest in birds usually extends to plants, bugs, etc. There is so much to know! I saw the first Swallowtail of the year in my garden yesterday.

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