How Are Butterflies Helpful?

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Butterflies are helpful for pollinating plants and, as caterpillars, for providing food for songbirds and other wildlife. Discover how butterfly caterpillars induce birds to fly up from the tropics and spread out across North America with information from an entomologist and insect specialist in this free video on butterflies.

Part of the Video Series: Insect Information
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Video Transcript

I'm Mike Quinn. I'm been an entomologist for twenty years, and we're here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center, and we're talking about how are butterflies beneficial. And their helpfulness to us is they pollinate many plants, and moving pollen around is critical to most plants. Some are wind pollinated; most are insect pollinated. And the, another way that insects, butterflies in particular, are helpful to us is that the caterpillars provide food for songbirds, and that's, in fact, what induces most of the birds to fly up from the tropics, and and spread out across North America. Because the caterpillars emerge to feed on the new leaves when the trees put on the new leaves. So, providing food for birds and other wildlife, and pollinating are some of the main ways that butterflies are helpful to us.

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