Friday, March 16, 2018

National Butterfly Center

We wanted to visit the National Butterfly Center in Mission before we left the area.  Unfortunately, the day we went it was a little cool and overcast.  Butterflies were few and hard to find although we did see a couple. They spread a fermented mixture of over-ripe fruit, yeast, brown sugar, and ?? to attract certain species of butterflies. This Carolina Satyr found it delicious.

Carolina Satyr

This Duskywing preferred a good old-fashioned flower. 

Funereal Duskywing

More than 200 species have been seen on the 100-acre preserve including a number of rarities and U.S. records. While we didn't see many butterflies on this visit, we've recorded some beauties on previous trips.

Mexican Bluewing

Two-barred Flasher

Red-bordered Pixie

Blue Metalmark

The normal entry fee is $10 per person unless you are a resident, Winter Texan or fit under a few other categories they had.  We didn’t fit under any of the discount categories so they gave us the RGV (Rio Grande Valley) discount of $5 per person.

Entryway to the visitor center. 

This is Spike.  He lives at the Butterfly Center.

He seemed happy to be getting attention! 

Since we got such a large entry fee discount we made a contribution toward his care.

We walked around for a while and ended up seeing more birds than butterflies. Great Kiskadees were displaying to each other, and this one was showing how they can raise their yellow crown feathers.

Great Kiskadee

There is a bird feeding station that was getting a lot of business! The beautiful Altamira Oriole put in an appearance.

Altamira Oriole

Citrus is a popular choice at the feeding station. This Green Jay had a firm grip on an orange. 

Green Jay

This Eastern Fox Squirrel would eat bird feed then get a drink of water then eat some more bird feed then get a drink of water, etc.

Eastern Fox Squirrel

With all this bird seed around there was bound to be mice and rats.  The Hispid Cotton Rats were plentiful.  I guess they would be bird feeders too if a hawk happened to come by!

What do you think? Cute? Kinda cute? No?

Birds seen at the butterfly center:  Couch’s Kingbird, Great Kiskadee, Altimira Oriole, Olive Sparrow, Black Vulture, Green Jay, Plain Chachalaca, Northern Cardinal, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Inca Dove, Orange-crowned Warbler, Red-winged blackbird, Lincoln Sparrow,  Great-tailed Grackle, White-tipped Dove, Long-billed thrasher.


  1. I'll add the National Butterfly Center to the list for Texas and hope for a sunny, warm day!

  2. It looks like Spike could out live us all.

    Serene didn't say it, but my guess is she would say "not cute" on the mouse/rat question.

    1. Spiked looked happy.

      I'll put Serene down for a "no" on the rat!