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Owls and Orchids - An Annual Event at Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House

Updated on November 21, 2015

A little, cute, Screech Owl

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Screech OwlA very cute, little, screech owl.Screech OwlScreech Owl.  I felt so bad for him here, he looks a little nervous, scared, or mad.  Most of the time that I saw him though, he looked calm and happy.
Screech Owl
Screech Owl | Source
A very cute, little, screech owl.
A very cute, little, screech owl. | Source
Screech Owl
Screech Owl | Source
Screech Owl.  I felt so bad for him here, he looks a little nervous, scared, or mad.  Most of the time that I saw him though, he looked calm and happy.
Screech Owl. I felt so bad for him here, he looks a little nervous, scared, or mad. Most of the time that I saw him though, he looked calm and happy. | Source

A Great Horned Owl

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I wish you could see in person, how absolutely majestic this owl was.  Very beautiful, including the pattern on his feathers.  He has an amazing story.  His egg was rescued from underneath a coal conveyor belt.  So his journey was a rough one.  Coal, the Great Horned Owl
I wish you could see in person, how absolutely majestic this owl was.  Very beautiful, including the pattern on his feathers.  He has an amazing story.  His egg was rescued from underneath a coal conveyor belt.  So his journey was a rough one.
I wish you could see in person, how absolutely majestic this owl was. Very beautiful, including the pattern on his feathers. He has an amazing story. His egg was rescued from underneath a coal conveyor belt. So his journey was a rough one. | Source
Coal, the Great Horned Owl
Coal, the Great Horned Owl | Source

What is Owls and Orchids?

Owls and Orchids is the name of a wonderful annual event that is located in Chesterfield Missouri. There are actual owls you can see, every Tuesday night in the month of October. Before I go into more detail about that, I want to make it very clear that if you can't come in October, the rest of the year the conservatory is open and there are often special events not all that different from the Owls and Orchids.

Owls and Orchids in October, focuses primarily on Owls, Owl Butterflies, and an amazing array of orchid flowers. It is truly incredible and very worth your time if you can in any way get out to see it! The orchids alone, are fantastic displays of natures beauty. I am blown away at the different kinds and they are like miniature works of art, each and every one.

To the right, here, you see a Great Horned Owl, which is native to Missouri. His name is Coal, and he was amazing to see. He has a wonderful survival story as his egg was found underneath a coal conveyor belt. All of these owls have a story of rescue, I believe.

A Beautiful European Barn Owl

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Here Is Avery, a European Barn Owl.This beautiful owl's name is Avery.  He is an 8 month old European Barn Owl.  I think he is just beautiful!
Here Is Avery, a European Barn Owl.
Here Is Avery, a European Barn Owl. | Source
This beautiful owl's name is Avery.  He is an 8 month old European Barn Owl.  I think he is just beautiful!
This beautiful owl's name is Avery. He is an 8 month old European Barn Owl. I think he is just beautiful! | Source

Owl Butterflies.

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You can see by the pattern on the wings, why these owl butterflies have their name.  See the owl eye?  This startles predators long enough to get them to move along, and find something else to eat! Another rare view of the top or inside wings of the owl butterfly.Owl butterfly on a colorful tropical leaf.
You can see by the pattern on the wings, why these owl butterflies have their name.  See the owl eye?  This startles predators long enough to get them to move along, and find something else to eat!
You can see by the pattern on the wings, why these owl butterflies have their name. See the owl eye? This startles predators long enough to get them to move along, and find something else to eat! | Source
Another rare view of the top or inside wings of the owl butterfly.
Another rare view of the top or inside wings of the owl butterfly. | Source
Owl butterfly on a colorful tropical leaf.
Owl butterfly on a colorful tropical leaf. | Source

What You will See at the Owls and Orchids Month Long Event

When you go to the Butterfly House on an average day in October, you will for sure see some of the 1000 owl butterflies flying around in the amazingly beautiful conservatory. There will actually be approximately 2000 butterflies flying around at any one time, but half will be the owl butterflies.

There are up to four different types of owl butterflies flying around at that time, so you will want to keep an eye out for each of them! Along with these amazing, large, beautiful butterflies, you will also see an array of orchids. The butterflies love the orchids, and I find it so beautiful to see them alight onto these flowers. It's sometimes hard to capture them with my camera when they do that, but not impossible!

Humidity and temperature are of course controlled to maintain this very tropical habitat for these butterflies from across the world. You can usually see all there is to see in about an hour and a half, but I like to allow for more time, because you never know what you will find there.

You will see butterflies feeding on multiple food sources, flying around, laying eggs, etc. If you go out to door toward the back of the building, you will see the native garden made especially to attract the multiple butterflies found in Missouri and the Midwest USA in general. This is a lovely garden, and changes with the seasons. I could spend a lot of time just out there!

They have an education room where kids can learn more, as well as a 17 minute long movie on the life cycle of the butterfly. There are scientists there, to ask questions to if desired. The people there really seem to love their jobs. There is literature and books for sale along with many other items including post cards, in the Madame Butterfly Gift Shop there.

Every Tuesday evening, from 4:30-7pm, you can see actual owls at the Butterfly house, along with other exhibits. These owls are incredible! I was able to capture some with my camera, and the pictures don't do them justice. They are simply amazing. I was overwhelmed by their beauty and the amount of information that I learned about them.

A Tawny Owwl

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Could this little owl be any cuter?  His name is Tigger, and he is a Tawny owl. A Tawny OwlA Tawny Owl
Could this little owl be any cuter?  His name is Tigger, and he is a Tawny owl.
Could this little owl be any cuter? His name is Tigger, and he is a Tawny owl. | Source
A Tawny Owl
A Tawny Owl | Source
A Tawny Owl
A Tawny Owl | Source

The Inside or Top of an Owls Wings

The inside or top of the owl wings ara beautiful.
The inside or top of the owl wings ara beautiful. | Source

Owl and Other Butterflies

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Some Interesting Facts about Owl Butterflies

This event was held in the dusk hours, for a very particular reason. The owl butterflies are the most active in the dusk hours, or the hour right before day break. As the sun is rising and finally setting and almost dark, they feel the safest. This is because birds that want to eat them fly in the daytime, or at night. So when its fully light or fully dark, they are up for grabs, as a meal!

I have seen these butterflies in the day, several times now. This was my second time seeing them at dusk. They do what is called, "storming." They get very active and fly around like crazy. They are not small either! They will land on you, a lot. So if there are kids or anyone that likes to have a butterfly alight onto you, this is a great opportunity! Tuesday evenings during the month of October, it is open, as I stated before. You will never see the butterfly house quite in this state, I was told. Meaning, it is literally almost like a wonderland of butterflies flying all around you. Because they are large, you can sense them landing on your head, or back, anywhere. You want to make sure to not "swat" at them, like you would a bug!

With the four different species of owl butterflies they have for this even, and how active they get, it is simply amazing, something to not miss! Notice that in some of the pictures, you see the owl butterflies with their wings open, as opposed to how they are during the day. During the days, they like to be on the trunks of trees, showing their infamous owl "eye spot." This is in hopes they scare the hungry predators away, and they can just eat when it's a bit safer.

Owl Poll

Have you ever seen a Great horned owl, tawny owl, European Barn owl, or Screech Owl?

See results

Other Things to Do While in Faust Park

The Butterfly house is located in Faust Park in Chesterfield Missouri. So while at the butterfly house, consider visiting the large Carousel practically next door. There is also a very nice playground with a restroom, nearby.

There are some neat nature trails to hike as well, and areas to picnic around a pond. There are many local birds and garden areas as well throughout. I love the variety of trees this park has, its really neat.

The Butterfly house is very close to one of the big local highways in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. So if you get to go there, consider the many other neat attractions in St. Louis. The staff has been helpful in the past to our family, with ideas of where to go, and even provided a little book on some attractions in the area.

Various Orchids

Click thumbnail to view full-size
These orchids were so beautiful.  I loved them.This spray of orchids has an owl butterfly perched on them.  Its hard to see the butterfly in the light, but he looked very beautiful there.
Source
These orchids were so beautiful.  I loved them.
These orchids were so beautiful. I loved them. | Source
Source
Source
This spray of orchids has an owl butterfly perched on them.  Its hard to see the butterfly in the light, but he looked very beautiful there.
This spray of orchids has an owl butterfly perched on them. Its hard to see the butterfly in the light, but he looked very beautiful there. | Source
Source

An Owl Butterfly on an Orchid Flower

It looks like the owl butterflies love the orchids too!  This might be my favorite capture of the day.
It looks like the owl butterflies love the orchids too! This might be my favorite capture of the day. | Source

Orchid Poll

Do you like orchids?

See results

Hours, Prices, etc for Owls and Orchids

During The Sophia M. Sachs butterfly conservatory is open everyday but Monday. There is a small fee but several discounts available. If you live in the area, every first Tuesday of the month is free to St. Louis City residents. The price for adults is five dollars, seniors pay five dollars, children are 3 dollars. There are group rates, and multiple other ways to get discounts like Triple A discounts, Drury Inn, Military, etc. My favorite way to afford this and the botanical garden prices is to get a membership that pays for itself very quickly. It is beautiful any time of the year to visit, but especially during the fall season.


Map to the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House

A
Faust Park:
Faust Park, 15185 Olive Boulevard, Chesterfield, MO 63017, USA

get directions

The Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly house is located within Faust Park, which has many other things to do. Definitely worth a visit!

© 2014 Paula

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    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula 

      3 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Wow, Tsadjatko, thank you for sharing your experiences with the owls and birds here! Those sound like wonderful memories! I am glad you liked the hub page too, thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment. I would like to have more experiences with birds and yours sounds amazing. Glad you shared it.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      3 years ago from now on

      Awesome hub page, brought back memories of my youth as I have had all three of the first three Owls pictured as "pets" because of rescue and having been a wildlife rehabilitater.

      For ornithology class we used to go out at dusk and dawn with recordings of these three Owls, Screech, Great Horned, and Barn and within minutes of playing their "songs" we'd first be assaulted by a variety of local song birds looking to chase the owl away and then the owls would appear often in pairs meeting on tree limbs nearby and courting each other or flying so close we could snatch them out of the air. The exception was of course the Great Horned. If we played one of them hooting all birds and lesser owls would disappear. You should try this sometime, a great family endeavor which can entertain you into the night, or morning.

      Again thanks for this hub page.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula 

      3 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Kevin, Thank you. Yes I can see what you are wondering about. You are right to wonder about the butterflies. The event is just called Owls and Orchids, but the "play" on words, or idea actually is that the "owls" part of that is for both butterflies and actual owls. Then of course actual orchids. There are particular butterflies called owl butterflies, as you probably know. In fact, there were four different species of them i this event.

      The owls, are there during that month, on Tuesday evenings only, and this was when I was there. So I got to not just see the owl butterflies and the orchid flowers, but the actual owls as well. As for the pictures, I just loaded up the owls first in this hub. So they are kind of groups like that. Hope this helps to explain, and didn't mean to confuse for sure.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      3 years ago

      That had very beautiful photos and interesting facts but I wondered if it was about butterflies, why you had owls at the beginning? I became confused.

      Kevin

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula 

      3 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Alicia, thank you! I am so glad you found the information interesting and liked the photos. All you said really made my day! I am so glad to share my photos and experiences, and happy you stopped by and commented!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a lovely hub! The photos are beautiful and the information is very interesting. What a great place to visit. Thank you for sharing your experience and your photographs.

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