Four butterfly species growing!

Tiger swallowtail cats, big and small

Tiger swallowtail cats, big and small

Our big green tiger swallowtail caterpillar turned brown today. Ready to stop eating and go into chrysalis! Yay!

Our big green tiger swallowtail caterpillar turned brown today. Ready to stop eating and go into chrysalis! Yay!

Two more tigers to go. They eat our tulip tree leaves for a month! Then they will overwinter as chrysalises and eclose next spring.

Two more tigers to go. They eat our tulip tree leaves for a month! Then they will overwinter as chrysalises and eclose next spring.

 We had breakfast this morning with the newborn monarchs.

 We had breakfast this morning with the newborn monarchs.

Lots to release this morning.

Our first-ever fritillary has been eating violets and decided to rest. It's almost full grown.

Our first-ever fritillary has been eating violets and decided to rest. It's almost full grown.

The black swallowtail cat has attached itself to the twig and is ready to go into chrysalis.

The black swallowtail cat has attached itself to the twig and is ready to go into chrysalis.

Backyard Butterfly Talk Friday, Aug. 4, 6:30 pm

We've been busy raising dozens of monarchs as well as black swallowtails, tiger swallowtails and other species. Please join us in our backyard Friday, Aug. 4, from 6:30-7:30 pm to hear about how we attract and raise various native butterflies. 112 Imperial St, Park Ridge, IL. Please bring a chair if you can!

Butterfly talk at Wild Birds Unlimited in Palos Park

Come join local author Sue Fox McGovern as she speaks about the process of raising butterflies at Wild Birds Unlimited in Palos Park Saturday, August 20, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Throughout the summer, Sue finds eggs from monarchs, black swallowtails, tiger swallowtails, and red admirals in her backyard and raises each species. She will bring in various eggs, caterpillars, and chrysalises to view at the talk. Check out her website at http://BackyardButterflies.com and her book "Raising Monarchs: Caring for One of God's Graceful Creatures" by visiting the online bookstore at Sunbury Press or on Amazon. Come celebrate the beauty of summer with her! Seating is limited, please call (708) 361-8726 to register for this free event.

Monarchs 2016!

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After a very slow start, we found a dozen eggs in mid-June and have been finding some ever since. Looks like that snowstorm in El Rosario in March decimated the overwintering monarch butterflies.

After a very slow start, we found a dozen eggs in mid-June and have been finding some ever since. Looks like that snowstorm in El Rosario in March decimated the overwintering monarch butterflies.

Monarch Sanctuary Presentation

Go Green Park Ridge and Sue Fox McGovern
Thursday, June 9th, 2016, at 7pm - Park Ridge Library
The Monarch butterfly population, once so abundant in North America, has declined 90% in the past 20 years. Author Sue Fox McGovern will demonstrate her methods for raising monarchs, and Go Green Park Ridge will provide information on creating safe butterfly habitat throughout Park Ridge.

So fun to raise a tiger swallowtail in the backyard!

We found a tiger swallowtail egg on our tulip tree sapling in mid-August and welcomed the tiny black and white caterpillar that hatched August 19. We watched the cat hang out in its bed of silk most the of day and wander onto the tulip tree leaves in our container to eat at night. We loved seeing it molt from its black and white self into a sea of green with its large fake eyespots! Plus, it loved to cozy up behind a leaf in its bed and hide from us. It finally turned brown and formed its chrysalis September 24. The tiger swallowtail butterfly, one of our nation's biggest butterflies, will eclose sometime in June 2016. Stay tuned!