Thursday, 27 September 2012

Other Critters: Caterpillars Part 2

The creepy crawlies continue.

Banded Tussock Moth
Banded Tussock Moth larva
As of late, there have been lots of these fuzzy caterpillars showing up. They're almost as common as the hickory tussock moth caterpillars. They're about the same size (maybe  a little smaller) and seem to hang out on the same tree limbs.

These caterpillars turn into a nice looking moth (as far as moths go), although I don't think I've ever seen one in person.

Another tussock moth larva?

As for this caterpillar, I am unsure of it's identification. It looks very similar to the banded tussock, except it's lacking the yellow coloration.

 I've also seen similar caterpillars around that were losing I suspect they have mites of some kind. Maybe that's what is going on with this one? It looks healthy enough... but who knows! As you can see from the aalder leaf, it has a good appetite!

The last caterpillar is probably one of the more unique. Most that I've seen are of the hairy variety..this one is more like a grub!

undetermined hornworm
When I first saw it, I thought for sure it must be the larva of the Luna Moth... but upon further inspection, I found that it was a much duller green than the Luna Moth caterpillar usually is.

So I searched the Caterpillar ID catalogue and was only able to narrow it down to being the larva of some type of sphinx moth.

Many sphinx moths are pretty cool when they fly. I encountered one at my feeder last summer. It resembeled a tiny hummingbird. It flies almost exactly like a hummingbird!

I'm not sure if this might be the larva of the same moth, but either way, they're both pretty neat!
Saturday, 15 September 2012

Other Critters: Caterpillars Part 1

While the NovaBirds Cam focuses on birds,  I also wanted to share some of the other wildlife that I commonly come across where I live.

This Summer has produced numerous caterpillars. I honestly don't think I have ever seen so many, as well as such a variety. I took as many photos as possible and tried to ID some of them. Here are just a few of the wriggly buggers that I've seen...(All identifications are thanks to DiscoverLife).

Fall Webworm
Some of the first caterpillars that started making an appearance around our yard were Fall Webworms. They're cute and fuzzy, but as their name suggests, they make webs. It's gross really.

They'll pick a limb of a nice tree and completely cover it in webbing. Once complete, hundreds of them will live inside of it to further develop.

It's very common to see their webs taking over large sections of trees around here.  It's also common for the covered tree limb to die off.

I guess the only bright side is that they turn in to pretty pure white moths with creamy speckles... Yeah, I'm trying to find something positive about them...

Hickory Tussock Moth
By far the most populous caterpillar has been those of the Hickory Tussock Moth. They've been all over our property for nearly a month, getting fatter and fluffier by the day. They're all over the house, our sheds, the grass and even the dog has brought them inside on his fur!

They're actually very pretty caterpillars..but you can't let their cuteness fool you. Many folks who mistakenly pick up or touch these caterpillars end up with an allergic reaction! The hairs on these (and many other) caterpillars are irritants!

I haven't seen any cocoons yet...I'm not sure how much bigger and fatter these guys need to get before they start cocooning!

White-Marked Tussock Moth least I *think* that's what this is. All the online pics look lighter than what I saw. This guy is much darker..but I can't find anything to match perfectly.

I only saw these fellows around for a few days..and maybe saw about a half dozen in total. They're one of the more unique caterpillars I've come across though!

Look at that hair-do! Definitely one of the more stylish caterpillars in the insect world!


What the...?
Hubby picked up a truckload of mulch from a friend today... so guess what that means? I'll be mulching the gardens all weekend long!
So if you see a crazy looking lady with a baby strapped to her front, also pushing a wheel barrow...that's me.
Apologies in advance for scaring the birds away periodically!
Friday, 14 September 2012

Now Blogging...

Scram, getting into trouble!
I thought I'd set up a blog to keep everyone informed, and also for me to personally have a record of all the things I've managed to capture on the cam!

When I set up the Hummingbird Cam in August, I didn't realize how popular it would become. I'm glad that so many adore the hummingbirds as much as I do. Sadly, it's been 3 days since I've seen any hummingbirds at my feeders. They've all packed up and started the long journey back to the south!

Thankfully I began setting up a bird feeder elsewhere in preparation! Now streaming is the Winteringbirds cam! So far I've seen chipmunks, bluejays, chickadees, goldfinches, mourning doves and one pesky little squirrel that I've named "Scramble!"

I hope you all enjoy the cam and keep me updated as to what you see!