What captivates our attention more ….

…that which if familiar, or that which is unexpected? When it comes to Mother Nature, I would have to answer ‘that which is unexpected.’ Case in point, I was recently granted the unexpected honor of photographing a golden birdwing butterfly.

Troides aeacus

Troides aeacus

This spectacular insect is special for a variety of reasons. One, he flies more like a bird and less like a butterfly, hence the name. In other words, he doesn’t flutter about, he flies like a rock star.


At first glance, I thought he was a big beetle, his wings beat that rapidly!

The second reason the golden birdwing is spectacular has to do with his colors. A brilliant yellow body; black-edged, yellow hind wings; black and white striped fore wings, and red accents on the thorax, make this member of the Swallowtail family a regal sibling. And, I must add, he has coolest white eyes.


Golden birdwings have a wing span reaching close to 6 inches!

Now for the last and most exciting reason this butterfly is truly special. His territory covers Northern India, Nepal, Burma, China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Taiwan, Cambodia, peninsular Malaysia, and Indonesia!!!!!!! Yup, he’s not native to the North American continent, and he’s definitely not native to the Concord River in Billerica, Massachusetts!!!


How did you get here, little guy?


Since I’m sure he didn’t hop a trans-continental flight to the States, the only explanation that makes sense is he escaped from the Butterfly Place in Westford, MA. Birdwings are listed as one of the types of butterflies they house. Perhaps somebody left a window open or something. Or maybe he heard about the sumptuous nectar available at my little corner of the river, and he decided to take a field trip.


I hope he comes back for another visit.

Whatever the reason for his appearance, he gave me two days of joy, and a lifetime of glorious memories. Blessed be :}



About tinthia

Wondering, searching, and wandering, I'm an earth witch with a desire to get it right in my lifetime. The flow of the river feeds my inner goddess and fuels my soul. Blessed be. :}
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2 Responses to What captivates our attention more ….

  1. Kathy says:

    Wow!!! So cool! What a beautiful butterfly and such an honor to see one so rare. Love reading your blog Cindy!

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