It's that time of year again - Cicadas are flying and Hudson is crunching. He has plenty of competition, though.
I am not especially fond of House Sparrows (mostly because they eat my house and nest under my roof tiles), but it is really quite amazing to see them chase and capture a Cicada.
Cicada Killer Wasps take their share of Cicadas as well. Yesterday, while monitoring, we saw a veritable colony on the Girdham Road Dunes at Oak Openings Metropark. Above is a female with a paralyzed Cicada (upside down, under her) trying to decide where she left the entrance to her nest. She will lay her eggs in the Cicada, which will provide food.
It was impressive to see how much dirt these large wasps can remove. The entrance to the holes are up to two inches in diameter and the excavated sand trails off eight to ten inches.
I have never seen so many at the dunes. There must have been over 100 nests. Perhaps the dry summer has made the dunes especially tempting.
The males have no stinger and the females were seemingly oblivious to our traipsing around.
Flowering Spurge - one of my favorite natives