Butterflies throughout time and space have managed to capture the minds and hearts of people around the world. Myths and lores, have surrounded these creatures from ancient times often symbolising it to the human spirit. It is no wonder that even today butterfly watching is very popular and the number of lepidorists, who specialise in studying and collecting these winged species, has risen around the world.
As summer approaches, people who want to try something new should give this beautiful activity a chance. To get you started, here are four of the best destinations to spot these diverse and elegant winged creatures.
Iguazu National Park, on Brazil-Argentina border
The butterflies of the Iguaçu Falls are believed to be one of the greatest attractions of the region. According to many visitors, the butterflies alone are reason enough for creating Iguaçu River’s National parks.
The Iguazu National Park that lies on the border of Brazil and Argentina serves as a shelter for about 800 species out of the 3,280 that is found in Brazil. Among these 800 species, only 257 have been properly identified.
The Park is a popular spot to watch butterflies and its frequent warm temperatures and high humidity creates a greenhouse-like environment all year round, which is perfect for butterflies like the striking Blue Ulysses. Some of the butterflies found here are Morpho Epistrophus, Swallowtail butterfly and Owl Butterfly.
Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach, California, USA
Monarch Butterfly Grove is a famous butterfly attraction in California, USA that is popular particularly for its Monarch butterflies.
With a count of over 10,000 butterflies annually, the Butterfly Grove is one of the only five sites in the state to house such a large number of butterflies, aside from the Monarch.
Every year from late October to February, thousands of vibrant orange and black Monarch Butterflies flock to the Grove, which is essential to their successful migration as it shelters them from the freezing northern winters and has become a winter home for one of USA’s largest Monarch colonies, with an average of 25,000 butterflies every year.
During the migration period, the grove is open daily with volunteers on site to monitor the butterflies and provide information to visitors.
Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
The Kathmandu valley in Nepal has always fascinated lepidopterists for its numerous quantities of beautiful and colourful species of butterflies. Kathmandu valley is home to 651 unique specifies of butterflies, that include the beautiful great Orange tips and Oakblues.
A country that accounts for 3.72 pc of the world’s butterfly species, one can find different types of butterflies at different locations across the country. But it is only in Kathmandu valley that a great selection can be viewed, all year round due to its mild climate.
Pihla-Kaibaldi Nature Reserve in Hiiumaa, Estonia
With butterflies such as the small tortoiseshell that can be observed in as early as March, the Pihla-Kaibaldi Nature Reserve on the island of Hiiumaa, northwest of the mainland is one of the most famous and favourite butterfly viewing sites in the world.
In spring and summer months, Estonia is populated with as many as 1900 species of butterflies of varying sizes. The first species to unveil itself is the small Tortoiseshell that is most common species in Estonia and another species known as Camberwell beauty. Both of these species appear as early as March and are also known as the harbingers of spring.
The majority of them though are more likely to be seen during the summer months, ranging from June to August. Some of these include the Swallowtail and Lesser Purple Emperor.