Magicicada septendecim (Linnaeus)

Alexander and Moore wrote in 1962, “The periodical cicadas make up a truly amazing group of animals; since their discovery 300 years ago, the origin and significance of their extended life cycles have been a continual source of puzzlement to biologists. Their incredible ability to emerge by the millions as noisy, flying, gregarious, photopositive adults within a matter of hours after having spent 13 or 17 years underground as silent, burrowing, solitary, sedentary juveniles is without parallel in the animal kingdom.”

A terrific site to visit if you would like more information on the cicada is http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/periodical-cicada.

While Stuart is plenty busy chasing, catching and watching swarms, he is making time to gather approximately 1500 cicadas a day to feed our young chicks and older chickens. We’ve noticed damage to some of our trees, one downside of this abundant, rich protein source for the flock.

In the picture below you can see our little chicken shack. Last night some of the hens stayed out after dark listening to the ground and snatching up the mature nymphs as they emerged.

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Stuart’s ultra high tech gathering devices.

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They are startling en masse:

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