kids activities

Brilliant Butterflies

Spring has finally arrived and with it come flowers. And once we have flowers, we suddenly start seeing butterflies too. Butterflies love two things – flowers and sunshine!

Ireland has 32 resident and 3 regular migrant species. All butterflies have a four stage life-cycle; egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis) and adult butterfly. Some butterflies over-winter as adults (sleeping somewhere sheltered, like old barns) and some overwinter as pupa.

Green-veined white on ragged robin

Green veined white on ragged robin

The green veined white butterfly in the above photograph would have emerged from a pupa that had over-wintered.

While the peacock butterfly in the photo below would have hibernated over winter as an adult. You can see that it’s colours are a little bit dull.

Peacock butterfly

Peacock butterfly

These are the caterpillars of a peacock butterfly. The caterpillars feed on nettles.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 


RESOURCES

Butterfly Craft

Butterfly craft

Butterfly craft

This is one of my favourite fun crafts. All you need is card, craft sticks, glue, pompoms, coloured pipecleaners, stickers

 

 

Colouring pages

Try this peacock colouring sheet or this tortoiseshell one.

 

Butterfly spotter Guides

Use this Nature Detective spotter guide to help you identify butterflies you see.

See also Wildlife Watch Guides

Both good for UK and Ireland

For online guide to butterflies of North America see here.

 

Butterfly Life Cycle

Learn all about the Butterfly Life Cycle here.

 

Web links

Butterfly Conservation Ireland

Irish Butterflies website

Butterfly Conservation UK

 

Advertisements

Reindeer

It’s the time of year we often think of reindeer, but how much do we really know about these animals?

Reindeer (their Latin name is Rangifer tarandus) live in areas far north. In North America they are called caribou. They are well adapted to living in cold, harsh climates having a thick coat which is woolly and warm underneath and with hairs above that trap a layer of insulating air. They have large flat hooves which are good for walking on snow, but equally good at walking on soft ground.

pd4iy18ahti-nathan-lemon.jpg

Photo: Nathan Lemon at unsplash.com

Reindeer have big antlers which grow new each year. The males have the biggest antlers while the females have smaller simpler ones.

Reindeer like to stick together and so live in herds. They often migrate over large distances,  moving south as areas get colder during the winter; and North again when spring arrives.

For more information about reindeer check out:

WWF website

Arkive Arkive

National Geographic Kids

 

For crafts and pictures:

Here are some reindeer crafts

Reindeer colouring sheet or click here for a realistic picture to colour

Cool reindeer paper-chain

 

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and fun filled festive season