Butterflies, video

This is a video about butterflies from the Netherlands.

Dutch review of ten European butterfly books: here.

Dutch butterflies in January 2016: here.

Comma butterfly’s unusual hibernation

This video is called Comma (Polygonia c-album) butterfly.

Translated from the Dutch Vlinderstichting entomologists:

Jan 19, 2016 – There are four butterfly species that traditionally spend the winter in the Netherlands as butterflies. They curl up in sheltered spots and wait for the first spring days to become active and to reproduce. Peacock and small tortoiseshell often go to sheds, attics and old military bunkers for this. Comma butterfly and brimstone winter in bushes and fagots.

But while checking bunkers on the presence of hibernating bats Kees Mostert found on the border of Germany and Poland a comma entirely at rest. This is very unusual, and as far as known, this has not been seen before in the Netherlands. For many years, the bat counters also have been looking out for other animals they encounter in the bunkers. They often see peacock and small tortoiseshell butterflies and also moths like the herald moth and buttoned snout are regularly reported, but so far no comma.

Botanical garden blackbirds, butterflies and jays

Herring gull, 17 January 2016

This 17 January 2016 photo shows a herring gull on the roof of the ‘oranjerie’, the oldest hothouse, built in the eighteenth century, in the botanical garden. The bird drank from the gutter.

Before we arrived at the botanical garden, greenfinches and collared doves in trees.

In the garden, ring-necked parakeets flying and calling.

Blackbird male, 17 January 2016

Past the old astronomical observatory, a male blackbird eating berries.

In the Victoria amazonica hothouse, gold-edged owl butterflies flying around.

Jay, 17 January 2016

Before we left, we saw jays feeding on acorns.

January butterflies in England

Peacock butterfly, 4 January 2016

From RSPB Minsmere nature reserve in Suffolk in England; where not only birds have been seen today; on Twitter today:

Not one, but two butterflies seen today: painted lady in dunes & this peacock in North Bushes

Dutch butterflies 2015 Top Five

This video shows a male common blue butterfly in England.

According to the Dutch Vlinderstichting entomologists today, 2015 was not a good year for butterflies, with less individuals observed than in an average year.

The Top Five for butterfly species observed was:

1. Meadow brown 46,516

2. Small white 19,000

3. Green-veined white 15,837

4. Ringlet 12,945

5. Common blue 10,568

Dutch butterflies flying at Christmas

Large tortoiseshell

Kars Veling, of the Dutch Vlinderstichting entomologists, reports today (translated):

Dec 27, 2015 – People hoped and speculated that this year butterflies would be seen at Christmas. On Christmas Day the weather was not good enough, but on [sunnier] Boxing Day dozens of active butterflies were seen. The red admiral was the most numerous, but the observation of the large tortoiseshell was probably the most spectacular. …

The most commonly reported butterfly on Waarneming.nl and Telmee was the red admiral. 16 individuals were seen. In second place came the brimstone with seven animals and there were six peacock butterflies. Two cabbage white butterflies were seen flying and observers could not determine what species they were. Probably small whites, who also last week had been seen a number of times. Really spectacular was the observation by Marcel Prick and Anton Cox in South Limburg, where they discovered a large tortoiseshell. This is a very rare butterfly in the Netherlands. It remains warm [for December] and who knows how many more butterflies will be seen in this tail end of 2015.

Dutch asparagus growing at Christmas: here.

Help butterflies with rotten apples in warm winter

This video from Britain says about itself:

Winter hibernation – Winter’s Tale – BBC

13 December 2010

While many animals in the natural world tough it out during the harsh winters, some have a rather more dramatic and yet silent solution – sleep! A tiny dormouse nestles in the undergrowth whilst peacock butterflies and lesser horseshoe [bats] slumber in a castle dungeon in this breath-taking clip from A Winter’s Tale.

Translated from the Dutch Vlinderstichting entomologists:

21 Dec 2015 – The small tortoiseshell, peacock and brimstone butterflies spend Christmas normally hidden in a barn, a hollow tree, overwintering in a conifer or between ivy. But this year’s winter did not begin in December and there are daily reports of butterflies. On the warmest ever December 17, no less than six species of butterflies were seen.

The average temperature since the beginning of the month is nearly ten degrees above normal. Almost every day in December therefore butterflies have been seen. The high temperatures mean that the wintering butterflies brimstone butterfly, peacock, small tortoiseshell and comma have not gone into hibernation. If it’s sunny, they are active, and we can see them flutter or sunbathe on a sheltered spot. Many red admirals, which migrate south normally, have remained in our country. There are also small and large cabbage white butterflies. Probably these butterflies, which typically overwinter as pupae, came out of their pupae much too early because of the high temperatures.

We have often been asked whether this is good for butterflies, continuing for so long flying. That is not the case unfortunately. Butterflies while flying consume energy. In summer they can amplify this energy by drinking nectar from flowers. But in December, there is not very much nectar any more, so they eventually become less fit in winter. So it is better for the butterflies if the temperature drops. When it gets cold and they go into hibernation, their entire body is set to minimize the loss and then they have the greatest chance of survival.

We can in the lay out of our garden take into account butterflies in winter. Due to climate change we see butterflies earlier in the year, and they fly for longer, so we must ensure that there is year-round food for them. Flowering plants from January to December are desired. There are plants such as winter heath and Viburnum, which bloom in winter and thereby have fuel for butterflies.

For the red admiral, we can also bring rotting fruit. Increasingly red admirals remain in our country in winter, rather than leaving in the fall to lower latitudes. They have no hibernation, and at high temperatures they are quickly activated. Red admirals love rotting fruit and by putting rotten apples, bananas and grapes outside on a dish they can collect energy there. Thus, they have a greater chance that they will survive winter and will be able to reproduce successfully in spring again.

Dutch amphibians in winter: here.

USA: SO MUCH FOR A WHITE CHRISTMAS It’s supposed to be the “warmest” of your “lifetime.” [HuffPost]