had apparently been hibernating in an old pipe in my yard. He emerged on t
first warm day of spring, looked around for a few moments, and then flew
Mourning Cloaks are long-lived butterflies. They hibernate in winter and aestivate in summer. They seem to be at their most active when emerging from one of these phases (the first warm days of spring or the first cool days of fall).
This individual, like the one above, is basking in the sun. Mourning Cloaks have rich colors when seen with their wings spread. This one looks like its wings have been painted with gold flakes.
Mourning Cloaks usually live in or near wooded areas. When not basking on the ground, they can be found perched in trees.
This individual is drinking tree sap. Mourning Cloaks seldom, if ever, nectar at flowers. When their wings are closed, Mourning Cloaks are well- camouflaged as dead leaves.
This Mourning Cloak had apparently been hibernating in an old pipe in my yard. He emerged on the first warm day of spring, looked around for a few moments, and then flew off. Photographed March 22nd.
This is another Mourning Cloak that just emerged from a long hibernation. Photographed March 27, 2019, at Grant Park in Centerville.