B is for Butterfly

Beautiful Butterflies

With wild flower filled riverbanks and hedgerows, the Stour Valley is a great place to spot butterflies.

Within just 3 km of Kingfisher Barn, we've found more than 25 different species of butterfly.

The Orange Tip Butterfly

A true sign of spring - one of the earliest butterflies to emerge.

This delightful butterfly has a dark side - its caterpillars are cannibals. They sometimes eat each other, with a little garlic mustard on the side. The male's orange wing tips are a warning to birds -

Don't eat me I taste disgusting!

The Painted Lady Butterfly

This fragile looking butterfly makes an amazing journey.

It starts its breeding season in north Africa and gradually moves north, with successive generations, arriving in Britain for the summer.

What happens to them in autumn?

This mystery was solved in 2009 when scientists, using radar, discovered that they fly back to Africa - a 9,000 mile migration.

The Peacock Butterfly

Where should you look for these bold butterflies and their black caterpillars?

Try the nearest nettle patch.

Stinging nettles provide protection for the eggs and caterpillars of many butterflies.

Animals that might eat the nettles, and the caterpillars, get a nasty injection of chemicals from the plant's stinging barbs.  

Did you know that nettles can be good for your garden and for you?

They're also home to ladybirds, which eat aphids - every gardener's enemy.

Their chemical cocktails are being tested as human medicines.

The Comma Butterfly

Easy to recognise from its tattered looking wings.

This clever camouflage makes the butterfly almost invisible when resting on tree bark or dried leaves. The comma gets its name from the white line on the underside of its wings.