Cicadas are on the Menu

After 17 years, a new dinner item will be on the menu for our birds, though for a limited time only (late May through June of 2007). They have the sci-fi name of Brood XIII and they are the only 17-year cicadas in our area. Periodic cicadas come out every 13 or 17 years and are only found in North America. Some people call them locusts, but locusts are a different speciesn
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Northern Illinois Brood (Brood XIII)—The Northern Illinois Brood has a 17-year cycle and last emerged in 1990. Most of the region occupied by this brood lies within the Wisconsin-age glacial plain. Brood XIII also occurs in Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and will emerge again during 2007.

Here is their entire range from the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology’s Insect Division
17yearCicada

More information on cicadas can be found on Cicada Mania

We are going to try and get pictures of birds eating these cicadas-we have heard that American Kestrels love them! We want to track the different kinds of birds who love cicadas.

Maybe we will have a taste of cicada….we found this recipe online-

Soft Shelled Cicadas

1 cup Worcestershire sauce
30 freshly emerged 17-year cicadas
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups flour
Salt and pepper to season the flour,
1/2 cup corn oil or slightly salted butter.

You should marinate cicadas in Worcestershire sauce for several hours. Dip them in the beaten egg, roll them in the seasoned flour and then gently saute until they are golden brown.

Links to other cicada posts
Brood XIII Map
Brood XIII Interactive Map

8 thoughts on “Cicadas are on the Menu

  1. I will be curious to see if you get some pictures of birds eating Cicadas.-extra points if you try one yourself.

  2. Maybe we will have a taste of cicada….we found this recipe online-

    Soft Shelled Cicadas

    1 cup Worcestershire sauce
    30 freshly emerged 17-year cicadas
    2 eggs, beaten
    1 1/2 cups flour
    Salt and pepper to season the flour,
    1/2 cup corn oil or slightly salted butter.

    You should marinate cicadas in Worcestershire sauce for several hours. Dip them in the beaten egg, roll them in the seasoned flour and then gently saute until they are golden brown.

  3. I live in Naperville and I cannot believe the number of cicada wings I find on my porch every day! I wonder if anyone’s ever done a study comparing a cicada emergence with the size of baby birds. The baby birds around my house are being kept VERY well fed! With our very dry conditions are here, I can only imagine that the babies gets lots of moisture from the cicada diet.

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