- Education and Science»
- Life Sciences»
- Insects & Bugs
Attracting Butterflies to You and Your Yard
My True Butterfly Story
Most people don’t know it but I consider myself a “butterfly whisperer”. Well, I actually talk out loud to them but in a soft sweet voice. They respond in most cases. My husband laughed the first time I told him how the butterfly would respond to me.
I can teach anyone to be a “butterfly whisperer”. You don’t have to be smart, cute, creative, or have any sort of talent. If I can do it, anyone can!
I taught my husband by example; when he tried the same things I did and the butterfly responded to him, I could see the excitement in his face. You should have seen him when he had the first one sit on his shoulder. When they flew away, he kept talking until they came back. It was amazing.
Step one is to find a butterfly and, in a soft sweet voice, begin to talk to it. Conversation can go like this or something similar, “Hey, little butterfly you sure are pretty. Why don’t you come closer to me and if you want to you can sit on my shoulder.” I just keep talking in a relaxed manner until the butterfly decides to sit on my shoulder.
The first response I had from a butterfly occurred after a morning of fishing on the lake. We had just pulled the boat out of the water and I was waiting for my husband who had gone into the marina to get a snack.
A beautiful butterfly was circling around me and out of the blue, I began talking to it. It wasn’t long before that butterfly was sitting on my shoulder. Without thinking, I coaxed the butterfly into our car and we took it home with us. In retrospect, I would not do that again as it took the butterfly out of its environment. I don’t know if that was a bad thing, though.
Some Facts about Butterflies
The world’s smallest known species, the blue pygmy, is found in southern California. It has a wingspan of just over a half inch.
The largest species, New Guinea’s Queen Alexandria’s birdwing, can measure up to twelve inches from wingtip to wingtip.
The average lifespan for an adult butterfly is 20 to 40 days but some species only live 3 or 4 days while others may live up to six months.
You will never see a butterfly in Antarctica nor will you see them in an arid desert as there are no food sources in those places. But there are butterflies in every country in the world and in every state in the United States. At the last count of different species of butterflies, they topped out at 18,000. Some of the species will fly as much as 2000 miles to get to warmer climates.
The adult butterflies eat an all liquid diet through a small little pipe which is coiled under its head most of the time. The butterfly sucks up all the nectar from the plants with this straw. The straw is called a ‘proboscis’. They also use this straw to suck up water from shallow ponds.
How to Attract Butterflies to Your Yard
If you want to attract butterflies to your yard, plant fruit trees along with plenty of flowers and you should have a bounty of beautiful butterflies. You also can buy butterfly feeders shaped like flowers and they come with a special sugar mixture that you mix with water to make food for them.
Have fun watching the butterflies and don’t forget to talk to them. Get your camera ready and when they land on your shoulder you can have a unique picture.