We took a butterfly walk yesterday afternoon, it was something from our summer bucket list. I didn't realize how many butterflies we actually have around here until I started really paying attention. We see swallowtails all the time, but we also found many more varieties (skippers, pearl crescent, cloudless sulphur, and summer azure.)
What we took on our walk
butterfly identification chart for our area
water bottles (I carried in a small backpack)
paper and pencil to mark the number and kinds of butterflies we saw
Before we left for our walk we talked about how to observe, catch, and gently handle the butterflies (we did not try to catch every butterfly we saw and we only held a couple). The few butterflies we did catch and hold for a second were so we could observe and discuss them closely. Butterflyfunfacts.com has good information about butterflies and how to handle them.
Things to Discuss/Observe on Your Butterfly Walk
- Where do you think we will find the most butterflies?
- What are they doing on the flowers?
- Can you see their proboscis? Watch what they do with it on the flowers
- Can you decide if they are an insect? look at their legs, wings, body parts
- Notice their symmetry
- What do you think are predators of butterflies?
I introduced Sassyfras and Juiciness to tally marks and showed them how we were going to keep count of the butterflies we saw. They all helped me mark the numbers on our paper. When we returned home we counted them all up and Little J was asked to make a graph of some sort. He chose to make a bar graph. Easter Tiger Swallowtails won for the most seen on our walk. We took a walk to where milkweed grows, but did not find any monarch butterflies yet.
We're raising Eastern Black Swallowtails right now. They have made their chrysalis and we're expecting them to hatch any day now.