Date: 7/30/17 7:56 pm
From: Nicholas Mrvelj <nickmrvelj...>
Subject: [obol] Re: butterflies
I spent some time in the greater Sunriver area myself this weekend. I can
confirm seeing extraordinary numbers of California Tortoiseshells. During
a hike around the Todd Lake area, we counted about 5-8 per second on
average. All were heading in the same direction, often seeming to be at
the mercy of the wind. Many perished on the roadways.

Just south of Sunriver proper I saw 4-5 Common Nighthawks in flight each
evening.

Good birding,
-Nick Mrvelj

On Sun, Jul 30, 2017 at 6:09 PM Larry McQueen <larmcqueen...> wrote:

> Ok, this is not about birds, but something to behold in the Cascades right
> now. *Nymphalis* *californica*, the California Tortoiseshell, is now
> doing a mass movement. I have been on a family trip this past week,
> staying at Sunriver. We encountered thousands of these butterflies, first
> near the top of the McKenzie Pass and again on the Cascades Lakes Highway,
> south of the 3 Sisters. We found them in great numbers everywhere, all
> seemingly flying in the same direction, maybe down slope. This had to be a
> movement of the entire population (at least local), not millions, but
> billions of this species. Pyle describes this phenomenon in “The
> Butterflies of Cascadia”, as a release caused by a build-up of numbers over
> years, and then followed by scarcity for years. I don’t know how well
> studied this migration is, or where the butterflies end up.
>
> This was not a birding trip, but I always love watching the Pygmy
> Nuthatches. Crossbills were common around Sunriver. There was a single
> Nighthawk on the entire trip, where there ought to have been many.
>
> Larry
>
>

 
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