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Southern Inspirations
Facts About Butterflies and Watching Them
“Butterflying” or butterfly watching has not been as popular in the past as bird watching, but it has recently started becoming more popular. As more and more natural butterfly habitats are being destroyed, the awareness for the need to protect and conserve butterflies and their natural habitat seems to be at least one reason for an increased interest in butterfly watching.

You might be surprised to know that, according to scientists' estimates, there are over 20,000 butterfly species in the world. In North America there are over 700 species of butterflies. That is a staggering field of opportunity available for the butterfly watching enthusiasts!

Butterfly watchers are called lepidopterists. Besides butterfly watching, they love to study the life cycle of the butterflies, catch and collect them, create and enjoy butterfly gardens, and some work hard to preserve the natural habitat of butterflies. Some adults and students become involved in doing an annual butterfly census to track the butterflies' travelling habits and the demographics of the respective species.

A small part of the economy is also made positive by the things sold using butterfly pictures and information. They not only sell themselves, in a sense, they help sell flowering plants as well.

Why would you want to watch a butterfly? If you admire colours, grace, and quiet creatures that add a touch of sophistication and class to any area, you'll enjoy watching them. They seem to float through the air instead of flying. They flit about, visiting flower after flower, aiding in pollination efforts. They're busy little creatures, yet they never make a sound audible to the human ear. They don't bite, buzz, sting, or make a mess. The only negative thing that they may do occurs when young caterpillars eat the plants needed for their survival. This is, however, not necessarily an annoyance if one does the proper planning when building up their landscapes or gardens.

Butterflies deserve to be admired for their contribution to our society. Watching them is only a part of the joy they give us. Besides pollination and feeding other necessary creatures, like birds and insects, the butterfly helps increase sales of products. People buy things for use in watching these delightful insects. Cameras, binoculars, gardening products, notebooks, photo albums and scrapbooks, collectors' paraphernalia, lawn furniture, bushes and plants, seeds, tools for the garden, books, and decorative items are all sold partially because of the butterflies' contribution to society.

Why you would watch butterflies seems like a silly question after thoughtful consideration. You can learn about parasites, harmful chemicals, predators, flowers, birds, bats, and the many jobs associated with the butterfly. You could entertain and teach children, or encourage them in a nature-related career, or even help them learn to appreciate nature and insects all because of the helpful little butterfly.

It is no wonder if you do not realize how useful the butterfly can be; they probably do not even realize it themselves! But, then, many things in our world that seem useless will gain value through education and understanding. Why you would join others who live throughout the world in such a seemingly unimportant hobby will become much clearer upon research. Not only does butterfly watching provide a great hobby, it also brings people together.

Watching butterflies is a lucrative business for some as well as pure enjoyment for others. You can get much more from the experience than just seeing an insect flying around. Just keep your mind and your eyes open to all that is available from the experience. They make a nice conversation piece as your education about them increases. You can share this with your grandchildren and increase their knowledge of butterfly watching. You can enjoy a quiet evening with a loved one and relieve your stress as you both learn about one of nature's most graceful creatures. You might even get to know a neighbour better as you begin to notice the many places you can watch butterflies, especially if that neighbour has a yard full of healthy nectar-producing flowers.

Learning More About Butterflies

Scores of books dedicated to butterfly watching are available in libraries and book stores. There are butterfly watching clubs and seasonal festivals and parades devoted to butterfly watching activities.

You could spend very little for butterfly watching expenses or you could spend as much as you care to. There are butterfly nature reserves, field trips, butterfly releases, migrations watches, and general butterfly watching opportunities all over the world. Some species of butterflies thrive only where certain plants for food available to them, so it would be necessary for you to travel to observe them in their habitats.

Browse our Information about butterflies, butterfly watching and how to attract and enjoy butterflies in your own garden:

Table of Contents

Introduction
Butterflies and Gardens
What you Need?
Facts about Butterflies
For Enrichment



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