Yorkshire wildlife, from red kites to hares, hedgehogs, and seals. Notes on the animals and birds, including description, behaviour and life cycle, plus our own photos.
Read about Yorkshire wildlife.
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Peacock butterflies, Timble Woods
The butterflies of Yorkshire.
The comma is a butterfly which has declined severely, but which is making a comeback.
The ragged shape of its wings, and their colouring, enables hibernating adults to blend in against dead leaves. Larvae are brown and white, and resemble bird droppings.
This comma was in a patch of open ground on the edge of woodland, where a lot of nettles (the main food plant for the larvae) grow, at Staveley nature reserve. A sign indicates that the patch of ground is specifically intended for comma butterflies...those people at the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust know what they're doing!
In summer 2018, there is a proliferation of peacocks in Timble Woods, near Fewston and Swinsty reservoirs.
The red admiral is a common butterfly in Yorkshire. This one was on Yorkshire Water land at Timble Ings, near Fewston and Swinsty reservoirs.
While bright and distinctive with its wings open, the red admiral is quite well camouflaged, wings closed, against a fallen log.
Both the small and large white butterflies are called 'cabbage whites'. The caterpillars eat brassicas, including cabbages; they will also eat wild plants.
The speckled wood likes grassy, flowery habitats in, or on the edge of, woodland. As an adult butterfly, it feeds on nectar.
Some males defend territory - they find a sunny spot in the forest, and mate with a female if she flies into the territory. Other males patrol - fly through the forest actively searching for females. The female butterfly typically only mates once.
The caterpillar is green with a short, forked tail, and eats a variety of grasses.
The species can overwinter as half-grown larvae or as pupae.
The wall butterfly, or wall brown, basks on walls and rocks. It lives in areas where there is short grass, and turf is bare, broken, or stony. It is in decline.
All images © Hedgehog Cycling
The brown hare, or European hare, is a charismatic wild resident of Yorkshire. This non-native species has been in Britain since Roman times at least. Preferring arable land, or grassland with hedges, brown hares are most likely to be seen in the spring. That's the time of year when they may display 'boxing' behaviour.
Read about the brown hare.
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