Monday, June 4, 2012

Wiggling Free

While visiting the Reifel Bird Sanctuary on Saturday I noticed a larger number of spider web like things on most of the trees near the coast. At first I was puzzled to say the least, that is until I took a closer look! Upon close inspection I realized that these webs are actually caterpillar nests, each of which contained dozens of caterpillars. This photo is of one of the smaller nests, which was on a lower branch. These nests are very strong, and one of the sanctuary hosts noted that it would take a large bird like a European Starling to break into them. Once these caterpillars get free of the nests other birds, such as American Robins, would no doubt go after them. If not, there could be a larger number of butterflies in the area this summer.