[Tweeters] Jay and butterfly

Rob Sandelin floriferous at msn.com
Wed Jul 20 20:55:39 PDT 2005

I was watching a pair of courting Tiger Swallowtails soar and circle around
each other when their dance was interupted by a juv. Stellar's Jay. The
butterflies immediately split up and went completely opposite directions
from each other, the Jay choose the western heading one and swooped down on
it. The butterfly evaded the jays attempts to catch it by flying straight up
into the air, then rapidily decending. They entered a brushy area and the
jay broke off its attempt after hitting a branch with a wing and losing
control a bit. The jay perched and vented its frustration in a series of
calls which sure sounded like cursing to me. An adult jay came up and
perched nearby and I wonder if it was giving a bit of advce to the
youngster, or maybe chewing it out for using bad words....

I noticed shortly after this a tiger swallowtail hovering about over the
buddelia in my yard, where I first noticed the two butterflies. After a few
minutes, a second butterfly showed up and once again they began that
wonderfully romantic swirling dance across my garden, this time without any
birds cutting in.

Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer, Teacher
Maltby, WA
Floriferous at msn.com

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