Pets & Animals | 27 April 201710 Tips for Butterfly Watching Beginners Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Like bird watching, butterfly watching takes time and patience. Observing these winged insects can be fun on it’s own, and soon you’ll be able to identify the many different species. Here are beginner tips from Bird Watcher’s Digest Butterflies Backyard Guide. Binoculars will help you enjoy butterflies that are too skittish to approach closely. Practice following moving butterflies with your bare eyes, and then lifting the binoculars to your eyes when the butterfly perches. Learn the butterfly groups before focusing on the individual species. This way, you won’t get hung up if you don’t know the species right away. Instead, if you can tell it’s a sulphur, you can check that section in the guide later to compare the different species. When you find a new butterfly, observe the big features first before moving on to the fine details. Take note of the butterfly’s size, shape, and primary colors. Then look for field marks such as tails, eyespots, scattered markings, bars, etc. With time, you’ll be able to recognize familiar species in an instant without referring to a checklist of field marks. Butterflies are most active in the afternoon. They soak up sunlight to conserve energy in the morning and take wing in the heat of the day. Early season butterflies such as mourning cloaks, commas, and spring azures bask in patches of sunshine on cool spring days. Check mud patches, stream edges, puddles, and animal dung for puddling butterflies. These are often the best spots to see dozens or more butterflies at a time. Tune in to small movements in your peripheral vision to spot butterflies before they disappear. Butterflies move fast, and sometimes you only get a glimpse as they fly away! If you find a popular nectar plant or puddling spot, stick around for a while. You’ll see many different butterflies and skippers come and go, and probably recognize quite a few of them. Male butterflies on patrol tend to concentrate along trails and streams. Keep your eyes peeled for individuals “pacing” up and down the path. Start small when adding butterfly-friendly landscaping to your yard and add new beds and plants over time. Group nectar sources and host plants in large clusters. Butterflies see masses of plants and color better than individual plants. Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: Learn to identify the butterflies you see, and find out what to plant in your garden so they visit you at home!Butterflies are likely the most popular insects in the entire insect class. With their large, brightly colored wings and beneficial pollinator roles in the ecosystem, it’s no wonder they have such a big fan base amongst their human observers. But for anyone who’s ever wondered which exact butterfly it is that they’re admiring, there’s a new resource with all the answers: the Butterflies Backyard Guide. Replete with more than fifty of the most common butterflies in North America, the book is a fully illustrated guide that makes it easy to identify these fragile winged insects. Each butterfly in the book is presented on a two-page spread with images and facts about the butterfly, as well as tips for what gardeners can plant in order to attract that particular butterfly to visit their backyards. Other information provided for each butterfly includes: size, lifespan, habitat, diet, range, predators, and reproduction. Butterflies Backyard Guide is organized by major butterfly type, so readers can easily flip open the guide and zero in on the facts about the specific butterfly they’re identifying. Keep this guide close at hand for a quick analysis of the iridescent butterflies you see floating from flower to flower. You’ll be pointing out Monarchs, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, and Common Buckeyes before you know it. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.