Butterflies (and birds) in Hondo Canyon and Ojito de San Antonio Open Space

Friday morning, I went back to Hondo Canyon to look for butterflies and birds, this time with Rebecca, a woman from the Thursday birder group who is also into butterflies. She was hoping to see the Great Purple Hairstreak that Melissa and I found last weekend.

First, the birds. At the waterfall, we heard a warbler singing nearby. Unsure if it was a Yellow-rumped or another species, I tracked it down. It was a male Virginia’s Warbler, the first for the season. In the junipers above the waterfall we ran into a Steller’s Jay (seemingly at a low elevation but an Abert’s Squirrel, usually tied to higher elevation ponderosa pines was also nearby) and a woodpecker that flew in turned out to be a Red-naped Sapsucker, a bird new for the county!

But the main reason was the butterflies. Things were quiet until we got to the waterfall where several species were fluttering around the stream below the cliff. Short-tailed Skippers were rather common, as were Rocky Mountain Duskywings, Thicket Hairstreaks, and what we felt confident calling a Mylitta Crescent, although it doesn’t match most photographs of this species I could find. It seems too light, especially the outer three bands on the forewings.

Short-tailed Skipper

Thicket Hairstreak

Rocky Mountain Duskywing

Margined White

Mylitta Crescent?

Above the waterfall, we found many species along the water in the stream as well as in the dry gullies higher up. We did see the Great Purple Hairstreak again, always a treat! Some Field Crescents gave us trouble–small orange and black butterflies are very similar. A few lighter duskywings were mixed in with the darker Rocky Mountain Duskywings, but I think they are the females of that species. Maybe.

more Margined Whites

Field Crescents

This one is not a Field Crescent, but I don’t know what it is.

Duskywings. I think the browner ones are female Rocky Mountain Duskywings and the darker one is a male.

A tattered Orange Sulpher

Silvery Blue, normal view, end view, and artsy view.

“Spring” Azure.

After Hondo Canyon, we checked the nearby Ojito de San Antonio open space. Butterflies were few and hard to track down here, but we got good looks at more Field Crescents and a lovey bright green Juniper Hairstreak.

Field Crescents

Juniper Hairstreak with and without the flash. Neither really captured the right green color and it was even more impressive in person.

A cool moth we saw as we left. Tentatively identified as Digrammia curvata a type of geometer moth.

Here are the full lists for each spot:

Hondo Canyon:

Short-tailed Skipper
Rocky Mountain Duskywing
Black Swallowtail
Two-tailed Swallowtail
Spring White
Margined White
“Sara” Orangetip sp. probably Southwestern Orangetip
Orange Sulpher
Great Purple Hairstreak
Thicket Hairstreak
“Spring” Azure sp. probably Echo Azure
Silvery Blue
cf. Mylitta Crescent
Field Crescent

Litocala sexignata

Ojito de San Antonio open space

white sp.
Orange Sulpher
Clouded Sulpher
sulpher sp.
hairstreak sp.
Mourning Cloak
Field Crescent
Variegated Fritillary

Litocala sexignata
Digrammia cf. curvata

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2 Responses to Butterflies (and birds) in Hondo Canyon and Ojito de San Antonio Open Space

  1. Great pictures and id’s, Matt. Think I could get into this butterfly thing on top of my interest in birds and lately Odonata.

  2. Pingback: Better Butterfly Hunting « Natural Moments

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