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Butterflies, those colorful winged wonders that catch our eyes and capture our imaginations, are more than just pretty flying flowers. They are an important part of our eco-system. And they are the perfect summer science project to keep kids busy.
Start on July 4, when the North American Butterfly Association holds its official Butterfly Count across the country. To participate in the official count, you have to know how to identify the butterflies. But if you don’t, it’s an opportunity to learn how!
No matter where you live, the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center can show you pictures and descriptions of the butterflies and their caterpillars that populate your state. Click on the site’s “biological resources,” then “insects/invertebrates” and scroll down to “butterflies of North America.” For a simpler butterfly guide, wing your way to Butterflies.com, which highlights the most popular butterflies for six different U.S. regions.