Thursday, June 03, 2010
Where are all the caterpillars this spring? I am attributing their relative absence to insect eating birds such as wrens that are in abundance in the neighborhood. We also have a pair of western bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) working on their second brood in a nest box on our house. When you see how often the parent birds come to the nest with a bug in the bill throughout the day, it's easy to understand the impact they have on insect populations.
This one caterpillar, a geometer of some sort, avoided being eaten long enough for me to find it. Often I can go back to a caterpillar in the garden and monitor its growth since they tend to stay on the same plant. When I checked back on this one, seen here feeding on the foliage and flowers of tanacetum ptarmiciflorum, it was no longer there; probably in the wee belly of a baby bird.