ButterflyFest this weekend features tagged monarch releases, plant sale

October 19th, 2009

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will release tagged monarch butterflies, hold gardening and photography workshops and feature expert speakers on a variety of gardening and pollinator wildlife topics during its annual ButterflyFest Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 24-25).

ButterflyFest is a celebration of all pollinators and encourages visitors to explore their role in our ecosystem through crafts, games and presentations. The festival also includes activities, entertainment, food vendors, workshops and tours for the whole family.

Florida Museum staff will release hundreds of Monarch butterflies both days of the festival. The Florida Museum is participating for the third year in the national Monarch Watch program, which tracks the butterflies’ migration to Mexico with citizen reports using tiny stickers attached to the butterflies’ wings. (more…)

Submit ButterflyFest photo contest entries beginning Saturday with these helpful tips

August 13th, 2009

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Want to try creative photography but feeling camera-shy? Looking for an opportunity to practice new camera work but need a fresh subject? The Florida Museum of Natural History’s first ButterflyFest Pollinator Photo Contest could be the perfect opportunity. Entries may be submitted beginning Saturday (Aug. 15) through Sept. 1.

Everyone with a camera and a love for bees, birds, butterflies and other pollinators is encouraged to enter, says Florida Museum photographer Jeff Gage.

“Anyone can be a great nature photographer,” Gage said. “From simple images of plants and trees to more complex, time-consuming shots of animals, moving water or broad landscapes, our environment produces photographic challenges and opportunities for all skill levels.”

If you’re eager to go outside and start snapping photos but unsure how to capture eye-catching images of small, often fast-moving pollinators, the following basic photography tips should help you get started. (more…)

Fla. Museum to host fourth annual ButterflyFest Oct. 24-25, online registration now available

July 27th, 2009

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Join the Florida Museum of Natural History during its fourth annual ButterflyFest Oct. 24 – 25 for a weekend of fun activities focused on pollinator conservation and gardening.

ButterflyFest is a free, family-friendly event with activities and workshops emphasizing awareness and conservation of backyard pollinators and wildlife. This year’s event also features the first “Pollinator Photo Contest” with cash prizes awarded in junior and adult age divisions.

“ButterflyFest celebrates our living Rainforest exhibit and highlights the ongoing research conducted by our scientists in the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity,” said Douglas Noble, head of exhibits and public programs. “The fun, engaging atmosphere of the festival brings thousands to the museum to embrace our role in the conservation of pollinators.”

This year’s festival features wildlife research ecologist, author and artist Thomas Allen as the keynote speaker, as well as games, activities, workshops and tours for the whole family. (more…)

Rare fossil butterflies to be displayed during Fla. Museum ButterflyFest this weekend

October 15th, 2008

Editors note: A full schedule of events follows this release.

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History ButterflyFest visitors will have the opportunity this weekend to see four rare butterfly fossils not normally on public display.

The fossil butterfly exhibit is one of the many activities and workshops taking place during the museum’s annual butterfly festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Housed in the Florida Museum’s invertebrate paleontology collections, the specimens are four of about 50 known fossil butterflies in the world.

“Butterfly fossils are rare because they have extremely delicate exoskeletons,” said Florida Museum of Natural History Invertebrate Paleontologist Roger Portell. “Insect fossils are preserved under unique conditions.” (more…)

Fla. Museum to release tagged monarchs during ButterflyFest Oct. 18-19 Register online now for field trips, behind-the-scenes tours and workshops

October 6th, 2008

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will release tagged monarchs as part of its annual ButterflyFest Oct. 18-19, participating for the second year in the national Monarch Watch program, which tracks the butterflies’ migration to Mexico.

The Florida Museum of Natural History’s ButterflyFest is a celebration of wings and backyard things. This year’s key-note speaker is Robert Michael Pyle, award winning author and conservationist, and founder of the Xerces Society. Pyle will discuss some of his intriguing field adventures and the current status of butterfly populations and habitats – particularly in view of climate change fluctuation.

Registration forms for special fee-based field trips, behind-the-scenes tours and workshops during the weekend should be mailed by Oct. 10 and are available online, www.flmnh.ufl.edu/butterflyfest/ButterflyFest_registration.pdf. (more…)

Fla. Museum to host third annual ButterflyFest Oct. 18-19 at UF Cultural Plaza

June 3rd, 2008

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host the third annual ButterflyFest Oct. 18-19 at the University of Florida Cultural Plaza.

The free event features gardening and photography workshops, behind-the-scenes tours, butterfly and garden gifts, children’s activities and more.

“ButterflyFest is an engaging opportunity for people throughout North Central Florida to acquire the skills and tools needed to create a habitat in their own backyard for these marvelous insects,” said Doug Noble, Florida Museum head of exhibits and public programs. “Our native pollinators are essential to our survival and this festival is a fun way to learn and apply good gardening practices to attract wildlife in your own neighborhood.” (more…)

Fla. Museum to release tagged, live Monarchs at ButterflyFest Oct. 13-14

October 5th, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History plans to release about 500 live, tagged Monarchs during ButterflyFest Oct. 13-14, with the hope that some of these butterflies may be located in Mexico during the annual overwintering of this remarkable species, or back on the University of Florida campus next spring after their return trip.

McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity staff will release approximately 30-50 Monarchs hourly from the entertainment stage, accompanied by live commentary about the research project.

“ButterflyFest visitors will be participating in the start of a grand experiment,” said McGuire Center Director Thomas Emmel. “No one knows how they will try to transit to the Mexican overwintering grounds, because these are the first releases of locally tagged Monarchs in this area.” (more…)

Advance ButterflyFest tickets now on sale for Oct. 13-14 event at Florida Museum

October 2nd, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History is now selling advance tickets to ButterflyFest, scheduled for Oct. 13-14.

The weekend butterfly festival, now in its second year, features a variety of activities for all ages including live entertainment, crafts and demonstrations, field trips and behind-the-scene tours, exhibits by area non-profit organizations, as well as vendors offering food and butterfly and garden gifts and plants.

“We’ve been receiving so many calls we decided to begin advance ticket sales now to help alleviate long lines during the weekend event,” said ButterflyFest co-coordinator Betty Dunckel. (more…)

Register before Oct. 5 deadline for ButterflyFest field trips, behind-the-scenes tours

September 18th, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History is offering special field trips and behind-the-scenes tours for butterfly enthusiasts during ButterflyFest, Oct. 13-14. Space is limited and pre-registration is required for these paid activities and must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5.

McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity butterfly scientist and field guide author Jaret Daniels will lead two separate, half-day field trips to San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park and Morningside Nature Center Friday, Oct. 12, where guests may experience an array of fall wildflowers and butterflies.

Participants in the Butterfly Rainforest and McGuire Center behind-the-scenes tours Oct. 13-14 will be among the few to see places normally off limits to the public during this special VIP event. (more…)

Fla. Museum announces headline entertainment for ButterflyFest Oct. 13-14

August 23rd, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History’s ButterflyFest, scheduled for Oct. 13-14, will feature several nationally well-known musicians as well as a variety of performances from area community groups.

Highlights include Jimmy Ibbotson, former lead singer for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; Jesse Winchester, whose songs have been recorded by many artists, including Elvis Costello, Joan Baez, The Everly Brothers, Jimmy Buffett, Waylon Jennings, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Reba McEntire and Wynonna Judd; Jonathan Edwards, a nationally known folk artist who has been singing and recording for more than 30 years; and The Claire Lynch Band, an award-winning bluegrass band considered one of the best in the country.

Performances are included with the ButterflyFest one-day general admission of $5 for adults and $2 for ages 5-12. (more…)

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