Who’s Seen A Milbert’s?

Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Sure this is one of my favorite butterflies. I’ve seen Milbert’s Tortoiseshell butterflies several times. Always an OMG! butterfly, for when the morning is doing just fine, and you’re having good success with butterflies here and there . . . . One flies into your field of view, and it’s not a this or a that, its . . . OMG! a Milberts!!!! Battlestations!

That how I’ve felt when I’ve seen Milbert’s, a northern butterfly for those of us east of the Mississippi River. I remember each and every time I got that healthy buzz. Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania (2x) and here, Bonkers! unexpectedly in the middle of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the Outdoor Gardens of the Phipps Conservatory.

When the upper side is at a 90 degree angle to the strong morning sun, and your eyes are level with the wing surface, the sunlight dances on those reddish-orange wing bands. It looks just like fire! dancing. I saw this with my own eyes at Raccoon Creek. I subsequently read such an account in one of the butterfly field guides.

I’ve learned to temper my tales of Milbert’s, for when I ask folks here, there and everywhere, have you ever enjoyed a Milbert’s, my statisticians count a 99.874% No. Keep vigilant, for if you’re there enough, you just may.

Who’s seen a Milbert’s?


4 thoughts on “Who’s Seen A Milbert’s?

    • There I was, stunned, just 2-3 feet from the Milbert’s, at eye level with it, as it nectared, and I tell you it was AmAzInG! watching those ‘flames’ lick up from the wings. That I later read another account just like mine, I smiled, for I was there, Kim, right place, right time, enjoying a very Sweet moment!


      • I have not have the pleasure of seeing one yet in my travels or here at home. I propose you introduce me to one the next time we go butterflying together!

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  1. after viewing your work here, i feel that i have indeed seen this lovely winged beauty…thank you. the contrast between the brilliant red and black, set off with white and copper in this field of purple is eye catching and breath taking! well done, yet again, Jeff Zablow!


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