Re: >>>THREAD CLOSED<<< Painted Lady butterfly migration
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1. I have seen Black Phoebes catching and eating them.
2. KPCC had a short report (I can't remember if it was only a local report or on the national NPR broadcast, but they said that the Painted Ladies are flying up from Mexico because there are too many of them for the local plant life to support (I was driving and only half paying attention). Regardless, this large movement/migration appears to be cyclical, but not annual. Maybe based on prime numbers, like cicada populations (because they only become visible--therefore edible every few years, no predators can base their diet or life cycle on cicadas)...
Chattanooga, Hamilton County TN
I hope that wasn’t from a news outlet, since it’s erroneous. Sadly typical for most news outlets.
Painted lady butterfly adults are coming from the deserts, where they spent their immature stages eating native plants (mostly borages), pupating, and recently eclosed. They are emigrating (=exiting) from the desert; they do not migrate (migration includes a return trip).
I just returned from 3 days in Anza Borrego where they are in huge numbers. Many painted ladies along the way through Irvine to Orange today.
I’ve never seen birds eating them but I don’t doubt that they do. Saw many good birds in Anza Borrego but none on the painted ladies.
Mission Viejo, CA
Author, Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains
I have been watching thousand of butterflies flying through Aliso Viejo in roughly North-Westerly direction today. Turns out they are Painted Lady, smaller cousin of Monarch, and there has been a news story on them. A “billion” butterflies are expected to migrate through SoCal on the way from Mexico to their breeding areas in Oregon.
I wonder which birds and at what hotspots are getting excited about this. Not that I don’t wish the butterflies a safe journey en masse, but it would be nice to see and photograph a frenzied hunt.
Alex Tolkachev, Irvine
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