Bird Food: Tiger Beetles

April 29, 2017

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Bill Maynard, a botanist and former high school biology teacher, has worked for various government agencies from Alaska to South Florida and for The American Birding Association. He discovered the 87,000 acre Chico Basin Ranch to be the perfect natural laboratory to study and photograph birds, dragonflies, grasshoppers and other insects. Chico Basin Ranch Natural History Resources : BIRDING CHECKLIST // BIRDING MAP // DRAGONFLY & DAMSELFLY CHECKLIST //

Unobserved by most humans, but not to birds who forage on the ground, tiger beetles are beginning to emerge from burrows.  Some tiger beetles live two years spending their first adult year in burrows during winter months.  Many tiger beetle species feed on ants.  This one is appropriately named Cow Path Tiger Beetle (Cicindela purpurea) and are quick to take flight often landing in grassy areas. This is the first time I have seen this species on The Chico.  They have both a green and a dark purplish color phase and are found in all but our southern states.