In a normal spring tent caterpillars would have constructed gauzy tents in the cherry trees just before the leaves unfurled. This year I haven’t seen any tent caterpillars and we’re already at “Full Leaf”(*) in Schenley Park. Did our unusually cold spring kill them?
The absence of tent caterpillars affects birds, especially yellow-billed and black-billed cuckoos who rely on them as a food staple. Perhaps the absence of tent caterpillars explains why cuckoos are scarce this year.
To find out what we’re missing, see this May 2007 article: Tents.
(*)”Full Leaf” is my own term for the point when all the trees have leaves.
(photo by Kate St. John)