Butterfly spotting is a good hobby to get both kids and adults to spend more time outside. It can be simple to do and doesn’t require any special equipment, making it easy for beginners as well as more advanced naturalists. Taking a few things into consideration will make it easier to find interesting butterflies to watch.
While thermal cameras are great for spotting animals at night due to their body heat, using thermal cameras for butterfly spotting won’t be very helpful. That’s because butterflies are actually cold-blooded. Their temperature reflects the temperature in the air that’s surrounding them. The reason some people might think of using thermal cameras is because technology based on a butterflies wings is being used to help develop better thermal imaging cameras.
Butterflies don’t like sudden movements; these movements can scare them. The key to spotting butterflies and getting near them is to sit still and be very patient. When moving closer, do so very slowly so as not to startle them.
Learn More About Their Habits
Certain butterflies prefer certain plants, so it will be easiest to spot them if you look near where there are a lot of these plants. Plants that are rich in pollen, such as lavender, shasta daisy, queen Anne’s lace, phlox, marigold, nasturtium, aster, butterfly bush, cosmos, fennel, goldenrod and calendula are good choices. A mix of different options that flower at different times of the year will help make it more likely butterflies will come to your home. Also, it helps to have plants that are good for caterpillars to eat, such as milkweed, nettle, thistle and borage. Even with the right plants, make sure to look at the right time of year given the butterflies’ migration schedules.
When just starting out, look for the easier to spot butterflies, those that are most common and the males, which tend to be brighter in color than the females. Once you’ve gotten good at spotting these, it will be easier to find the females and more difficult to spot species. For example, you can find the male and then look for its mate.