My choice on our road trip was to visit Butterfly World which is located in Tradewinds Park, Coconut Creek, it is the largest butterfly park in the world and the first park of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. The facility boasts around five thousand live butterflies and the opportunity to be enclosed with hummingbirds. I needed no further tempting so we left our Super 8 in Naples and drove toward Fort Lauderdale on the Atlantic coast.
Big Bear found his macro setting, put on his Mr. Bean face of deep concentration and took some lovely shots which also kept his trigger finger busy....
History: After retiring from a career as electrical engineer, Robert Boender started raising butterflies and their food plants in his home in Florida. In 1984 he established MetaScience to help supply farmed butterflies to zoos and universities. After having visited England in 1985, where he met Clive Farrell (founder and owner of the London Butterfly House), he decided to create his own facility in Florida. Boender and Ferrell entered into partnership and started planning the facility, which was to be a public attraction, but also a research facility and a butterfly farm. Butterfly World opened on the 28th of March 1988. Since then it has expanded to include the largest free flight hummingbird aviary in the United States and an aviculture research centre.
Exhibits: The Paradise Adventure Aviary includes fountains with ponds and butterflies. Next is the Hanging Garden & Butterfly Emerging Area where cases with hanging pupa and emerging butterflies are on display. The Tropical Rain Forest Aviary includes a waterfall, tropical plants, free flying birds and butterflies. Grace Gardens is an outdoor botanical garden with flowering tropical plants. Also on the property is one of the largest collections of flowering Passion Flower vines in the world (own blog), in the Wings of the World Secret Garden. The Jewels of the Sky Aviary is where hummingbirds and other birds can be seen.
The Lorikeet Encounter was a desperate place we found quite upsetting. All these scruffy but should be stunning birds had was the concrete floor, metal hand rail or a chain to sit on. The punctuation in their boredom was to visit bowls frequently topped up with nectar and humans who paid a dollar to have a small pot full to feed them with. No greenery, no branches, no toys, now it said on the information board that these creatures are lively, fun and inquisitive but all they do is wrestle and look for the odd mole. One was relieved to see I had a tissue worth investigating. Result – a fairly moth eaten looking bunch.
The macaws lot was little better than the lorikeets
Conservation: Passiflora Society International was established at Butterfly World to encourage research on and help share information about passion flowers, which are the source of food for many butterflies. Visitors can view the laboratory where the butterflies are raised and can see the different stages including eggs, caterpillar and pupa. Butterfly World has also helped establish the Boender Endangered Species Laboratory at the University of Florida, which is helping reintroduce the Schaus swallowtail to Southern Florida.
ALL IN ALL A LOVELY PLACE TO VISIT