We have numerous artificial nectar feeder stations in the aviary. These provide important vitamins, minerals and nutrients to keep our butterflies healthy. In the wild, butterflies feed on fresh nectar from fresh flowers. In order to feed all of our butterflies, we would need to provide about 30,000 fresh flowers everyday which is impossible to do, so we have designed our artificial feeders to look like the throat of a flower, which attracts the butterflies. They work extremely well and are a great opportunity to get a photo of a butterfly at rest.
A female butterfly will only lay her eggs on the host food plant that her caterpillars will be eating (they are great mothers!). This means we know where to collect eggs from in the aviary to take into the breeding laboratory and we only have one host food plant for each species in the aviary. This gives the females a place to lay her eggs and makes it easier for us to find them! Throughout the aviary you will see various host plants where females will be laying eggs. You will also see our staff collecting eggs from these plants during the day which provides a great opportunity to get a photo of a butterfly laying eggs.