Silver Spotted Skippers

Yesterday I noticed there was some sort of convention going on at the birdbath. When I moved in for a closer look, I saw that it was  group of butterflies called Silver Spotted Skippers. At first I thought they must be there to get a drink, but most of them were facing away from the water.

Occasionally they would dip their little backsides into the water. I was completely baffled.  After I watched for a while though, I realized that they were getting a drink by extending their proboscis (mouth part) down underneath and behind themselves into the water.

Seems like it would be easier to do this while facing the water, but who am I to tell a butterfly what to do.

And by the looks on their faces, they wouldn’t appreciate the advice anyway.

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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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28 Responses

  1. Louise says:

    Wow! What an awesome sight – I’m immensely jealous!

  2. Lee Ann L. says:

    awesome! Right in your own backyard too. How cool is that?!?!

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Lee Ann,
      I’ve seen them off and on all summer, but usually in the driveway. This was the first time I saw them in the birdbath.

  3. jane says:

    amazing pictures – my camera couldn’t possibly do this justice the way you have been able to – thank you

  4. Shailaja says:

    I think the butterflies might have been newly hatched. A wonderful sight indeed!

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Shailaja,
      It’s weird how they all come together into a “herd”. Don’t know how they get together – little butterfly cellphones?

  5. Awesome!!! You got some great photos!!!

  6. Mary says:

    Well. Whaddya know? I’m gonna go refresh the birdbath, and hope we attract some.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Mary,
      Birdbaths attract birds of course, but I’ve also seen butterflies, and even larger game like raccoons.

  7. LesleyAnn says:


  8. Teresa says:

    What beautiful pictures. I’m amazed that they stayed for you to take pictures.

  9. Kelly says:

    What a fascinating observation! Your birdbath is very clean, too. The city birds really do a number on mine!

  10. Doe of Mi. says:

    I sure love your post today. When you have the privilege of seeing something like this its
    just awesome. Kinda like your given a special gift.
    Your photos are also awesome.

  11. Melanie says:

    HAHA! They must be male!! Only a guy would possibly think about extending something from it’s mouth through his legs and doing a trick like that–I know, I live with four of them. A lady on the other hand would just turn around and drink!! The first butterfly PROBABLY said “hey guys, look what I can do!!” The rest was history!!

  12. rebecca says:

    haha, melanie!!
    SFS- AWESOME pictures. you are quite the master picture snapper. 🙂

  13. Aw, how cute are they! I love your close ups! great pics! That is so interesting that they are drinking kinda backwards! We have had a lot of butterflies flitting around our property this summer. They are colored deep blue and black. They seem to come and go. Some days there are a bunch and then some days there are none.

  14. Maggie says:

    That is incredible! Maybe it has something to do with watching out for bigger critters who might knock them into the water… I seem to remember that if they get wet, or something/one touches their wings, it rubs off or damages the little fibers and they can’t fly.

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