Butterfly sighting

Sep 4 2017

Stan Rehm

Location: Fitchburg residential butterfly garden
Dane County

This newly-eclosed male was nectaring in our garden yesterday when a presumably naive bird clipped off his wingtips in an attack. We brought him back in to our screenporch overnight and let him solarize on a screen for the morning hours, but this afternoon he was unable to sustain flight.

We have probably all seen elderly butterflies with greater % wing loss from wear and tear be able to fly reasonably well, but there may be some crucial mechanical disadvantage to losing the wingtips.