Swallowtails on Bankhead Parkway
Plenty of opportunities to observe their behavior along the closed section of Bankhead Parkway leading to Monte Sano State Park, Alabama.
When feeding, they let their guard down a bit. But one slip-up and they fly off into Evasive Maneuver Pattern Delta or whatever until you go away.
Mimicry at work. This tiger swallowtail is a dark form female. The idea is to go through adulthood resembling a pipevine swallowtail, which birds find distasteful. The dark form female retains a faint trace of the tiger pattern.
Tough critter. Some butterflies can lose up to 40% of their wing surface and keep flying. This one had no trouble maneuvering even after a close encounter with a predator.