Buffalo Behind the Scenes: Butterfly Conservatory

Buffalo Behind the Scenes

At any given time there’s more than 2,000 butterflies fluttering around at the Butterfly Conservatory. You’re encouraged to wear bright colors cause butterflies are more likely to land on you.

“Many of them are colorful to blend in with the colors they’re getting the nectar from. So if you come in and wear bright colors, you’re more likely to attract the colorful butterflies,” said Jessie Bond, Manager of Design and Production

There are about 40 to 60 different species of butterflies free flying in this tropical atmosphere.

“I think with the combination of not only the butterflies and watching their movement and the colors you see are serene, but we also have the waterfalls,” said Bond.

Each butterfly is unique in it’s own way, like the owl butterflies.

“It’s a self defense mechanism so the owl butterfly has a bit of an eye on it so it looks like a predatory eye. It deters predators from attacking it,” said Bond.

Owl butterflies eat rotten fruit while the colorful butterflies move toward nectar and plants. They play an important role in the ecosystem.

“If you think about what you eat on a daily basis a lot of that has to do with plants and if there wasn’t the pollinators like these beautiful butterflies they just wouldn’t be available to us anymore,” said Heather Gorman, Niagara Parks Commission Manager of Education and Public programming.

Most of the butterflies come from tropical regions like El Salvador, Costa Rica, and the Philppines but some are actually produced in house.

“Once they’re in a caterpillar form we wait until they turn into the chrysalis, from there the chrysalis is removed and then put into our emergent cage for the public to witness,” said Bond.

The Butterfly Conservatory is just a quick drive across the border on Niagara Parkway.

For more information go to Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory

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