Kids, butterfly watching and expensive binos.

Barb Beck barb at
Fri Jan 25 21:21:14 EST 2002

Re Kids and counts and trips..

I welcome kids on our counts.  My revenge (grandkids currently 8 and 10) are
on some of our counts and are much better at getting a butterfly that I need
to see up close than I am.  They know how to properly catch the butterfly
and trap it in the bag.  They also know not to handle the butterfly. They
use my window nets so the butterfly can be seen without removing it from the
net.  They also have sharp eyes and are learning to identify  without
netting.  John Acorn, our Nature Nut, often has a swarm of admiring fans
around him at counts.

One thing we need to remember with children is that often they do not have
close focus binoculars they can use.  At least up here the price of the
things is out of range even for a good number of our butterfly watchers.  My
university students cannot usually afford them. Our salaries are much lower
than the average salaries in the US and our dollar is very low right now.
This puts the price of such things out of reach of many.

The thing that should be banned from any count or field trip (as well as any
toy store and nature store etc) are those horrid little things that are sold
as fish net/butterfly nets to kids.  They are made out of terribly harsh
material and have no bag which means that the kid either beats the butterfly
to death or when he gets it in the net subdues it the only way he can by
reaching in and grabbing it.

I would hate to see butterflying limited to those that can afford to hang a
grand or more (In Canadian dollars) worth of Elite Close Focus Binoculars
around their neck.  That is something that would really discourage

Barb Beck
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


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