Skip to Content
Happenings in the insect world
by Anne Schellman
on October 19, 2015 at 9:06 AM
Gorgeous photos Kathy! I'm curious, I thought the caterpillars tasted bad due to their diet of milkweed. Why would bluejays eat them?
by Kathy Keatley Garvey
on October 20, 2015 at 12:40 PM
Birds do eat the caterpillars. They may not eat as many of them, but they do eat them. One scientific study showed that when the entire monarch butterfly was ground up and fed to bluejays, the bluejays "barfed." That apparently was because the wings are quite poisonous. Birds avoid eating the wings.
by Anne Schellman
on October 20, 2015 at 2:27 PM
So they just eat the bodies then? That's interesting. I once found a "pile" of anise swallowtail wings under a planting of zinnias. Someone else (I'm thinking a mantis) was just eating the bodies but I guess it could have been birds too. In that case, perhaps it's because the wings taste dry?
by Kathy Keatley Garvey
on October 29, 2015 at 11:28 AM
They eat the bodies and not the wings, which apparently contain most of the poison.
by bird netting
on December 10, 2015 at 5:27 AM
WOW, simply great post; thanks for publishing. Some good examples here. A blog that’s both educative and interesting./
Leave a Reply:

You are currently not signed in. If you have an account, then sign in now!
Anonymous users messages may be delayed.

Security Code: