Sunday, August 22, 2010
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
It is easy to mistake this tiny caterpillar for a dried up bit of bird droppings. Clever disguise! It helps the little guy get through the treacherous early stages of caterpillar life when many are snatched up and eaten by birds.
Eastern tiger swallowtail butterflies sip nectar from a variety of flowers, including wild cherry and lilac blossoms. They don't mind urbanization so we see them in city parks and yards, and sometimes flying incongruously through the concrete canyons. This one was visiting the Shakespeare Garden in Manhattan's Central Park.