It’s Pollinator Week! Pollinators are animals that pollinate plants. As my friend TZ at Notes in Nature (https://notes-in-nature.org/2022/06/20/pollinators/) explains, the group includes bats, birds, and bugs of all sort. This includes butterflies.
Butterflies are incredible pollinators, visiting flowers of every type, in all sorts of environments.
Western Swallowtails are some of the most common butterfly we notice along the Front Range of Colorado — they’re big, they’re flashy, and they aren’t afraid of people. Here, it’s getting nectar from a favorite plant of many pollinators — a musk thistle.
I took this photo several years ago of a Painted Lady butterfly on migration. https://amylawscigeek.com/2017/10/06/painted-ladies-part-two/ Here she is getting a minute amount of nectar from oregano flowers in our yard.
We found this silvery blue butterfly on a sunflower at 12,000 feet, as we were counting pikas. https://amylawscigeek.com/2019/09/12/pika-patrol-2019-edition/ It astonishes me how something so fragile can survive in such a hostile place. But at least for the summer, they do!