In March I blogged about seeing a Giant Swallowtail in Key West. At the time, I mentioned that this butterfly occasionally strays to Minnesota. Yesterday Erika and I came upon this Giant Swallowtail feeding on a flower basket in Prescott, Wisconsin (across the St. Croix River from Minnesota). Two key field marks for this butterfly are the yellow spots on its tails and the yellow "X" formed by the wing spots.
This summer I have seen a few others along the Canon River Bike Trail in Goodhue County. Last summer I observed none in Minnesota (although others reported them). They are most common in the Deep South and Mexico and normally, in our part of the country, range to northern Iowa and southern Wisconsin.