Friday, April 13, 2012

A magical afternoon in a butterfly park


With clouds in the sky and the threat of rain we decided to visit the Butterfly Park in Empuriabrava. We entered the first part of the warm, humid rainforest to encounter parakeets of the most brilliant, vivid colours, blue heads, red bills, yellow throats and green bodies. There were others that were every conceivable shade of rust and red. As one would land on a perch another even more colourful would arrive beside it.

These birds were joined by mynah birds, tiny blue quails, tiny white and yellow birds, cardinals and one large azure blue chicken-sized bird with a lovely lacy crest. This particular ground dwelling bird took a liking to my shoes, which he pecked away at, even standing on my foot. As he started to puff up, I thought that it was time to move away.

The songs of the birds were cheerful and melodious and I think one might have said "hello" or perhaps, "hola." You could feel the movement of the birds wings as they flew very close to you. Higher up in the trees were some larger parrot type birds and one large quite ugly and sleepy lizard.

We moved on to the tropical environment created for the butterflies. Some plants act as roosting places for the butterflies, while others provide flowers rich in nectar for the butterflies to feed. One large, hibiscus with lots of red blooms provided dinner for a number of scarlet swallowtails, monarchs and morphos. The owl butterflies, which were a beautiful blue when they were flying, closed their wings and displayed their owl eyes that act as protection against predators, when they are feeding.

We spotted some chrysalis on a banana tree. Also, the passionflower vines and lemon trees are a food source for the caterpillars.   

It was a very pleasant afternoon spent in the tropics with the birds. Quite magical.

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