Butterfly Garden

Back in 1991, Doug Beardsley of Mackinac Island had the wonderful idea of adding butterflies to his greenhouse and allowing customers to enjoy two of nature’s most beautiful creations, and so originated Michigan’s first live exhibit, The Butterfly House.

Many years later, the Original Mackinac Island Butterfly House has come a long way – evolving from a dirt floor with potted plants and just a handful of North American butterflies to a beautifully landscaped tropical jungle with hundreds of butterflies from all over the world.

As you walk through the garden our attractive, but subtle, signage allows you to read some basic facts about butterflies, and insects in general – giving you just enough information to further pursue on your own, the wonderful world of insects.

Photos by CandaceWest.com
August 29, 2013
The Original Mackinac Island Butterfly House & Insect World.

The garden has two ‘feeding stations’: butterflies most often get their nutrition in liquid form, whether that be from the nectar of a flower, or the rotting carcass of an animal.  They have also been known to feed from feces.  Some of our Central and South American butterfly species enjoy the moisture they can pull from fruit, using their ‘proboscis’, a straw-like mouth part made especially for this purpose.  And so we provide them with bananas.  You can sometimes see as many as 6 or 7 species on the banana plates at one time.  A real treat, and perfect for photography.

Linda - “My favorite place on the island.”

Lisa and Tony - “We didn’t want to leave!”