Daily Archives: July 8, 2013

Sunday’s DeKorte Walks: Butterfly List

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Between the two Bergen County Audubon Society/Meadowlands Commission walks at DeKorte on Sunday, we tallied quite a few butterfly species — and a couple of clear-winged moth — on Sunday. (Thanks to Julie McCall and Denise Farrell for the list, which follows):

Black Swallowtail
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Pearl Crescent
Summer Azure
Eastern Tailed-Blue
Wild Indigo Duskywing
Common Sootywing
Silver-spotted Skipper
Broad-winged Skipper
Cabbage White
Orange Sulphur

plus Snowberry Clear-winged Moth and Hummingbird Clear-winged Moth (at least four)

Pix of Black Swallowtail, Annual Cicada and Snowberry Clear-winged Moth follow. Continue reading

Marco Van Brabant: About Black Skimmers

_MVB8222-002Marco Van Brabant writes, regarding Black Skimmers:

What I always wondered was how these birds have the power to run that long lower mandible through the water. I always imagined it causing so much friction that it should be impossible for the bird to zoom it effortlessly through the water.

When we see pictures of these birds looking for their meals, they are usually shot perpendicularly to the path in which they fly. Or when we see pictures of the bird resting, it is almost always also a side view, showing the big red and black bill.

I imagined it to be as wide as it is thick, but I just looked at some pictures I took a while back and realize how it is possible to do it, namely the bill is as thin as a knife and cuts through the water, kinda the same as when you stick you hand out of the car window when driving at high speed: turn the palm of the hand facing the wind and you feel the resistance, turn the palm of the hand down, and there is hardly any resistance left. Bingo, that’s how they do it…

I have some mediocre pictures (because I shot them with a relatively short lens) and one of them shows a little of what I just realized.

(Thanks, Marco!  A few Black Skimmers still being seen…)
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