Central Arizona Butterfly Association

Phoenix Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association.

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Events

The Central Arizona Butterfly Association has a wonderful line-up of Meetings and Events for the upcoming year. Please check this page regularly for up-dates.

Note: for all field trips: Beginners are welcome on all field trips. A donation of $5 per person to benefit CAzBA will be appreciated. Leaders donate their time and expertise. High clearance vehicles may be required for some trips. Dress for the field with sturdy shoes, hat, sunscreen; bring water, snacks, lunch, close-focus binoculars, camera, and field guides. Trips usually end mid-afternoon unless noted differently above. Please remember that no collecting is allowed on CAzBA field trips."

"Gas money: It’s kind to share gas expenses. Please be generous with your contribution to the driver!"

Upcoming events

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5/21/2017      Tips on butterfly photography at Boyce Thompson Arboretum with nature photographer Lisa Langell

Lisa Langell will be giving a PowerPoint presentation loaded with little tips on how to photograph butterflies in their natural habitat. The lecture will be 45 minutes long followed by some hands-on practice on the beautiful BTA grounds. Lisa would like to limited this session to 12 participants, as she would like to give everyone enough attention. The program will start at 8:30 in the lecture room. If you're not a member of BTA, you do have to pay the $12.50 admission fee at the entrance... read more »

5/27/2017      Butterfly Walk at BTA with Dr. Ron Rutowski

Our guided butterfly walks at Boyce Thompson Arboretum will start this year at the Visitor Center at 9 am on Saturday May 27 with Dr. Ron Rutowski and Saturday June 24 at 8:30 am with Marceline Vandewater. Dr. Ron Rutowski will lead again on July 22 and Aug 26 at 8:30 am, and Adriane Grimaldi on Sep 23 at 9 am, and Oct 21 at 9:30 am. These educational walks are included with regular daily admission of $12.50 for adults or $5 for ages 5-12. Children younger than age five will be admitted at no charge. read more »

6/10/2017      Field trip: Colonel Devin Trail with Marceline VandeWater

On Saturday June 11th, we will hike a part of the AZ/Highline trail in pursuit of colorful butterflies. As the temperature rises, the flowers start to bloom higher and higher in elevation. Butterflies follow this nectar flow “up the trail” and June is a great time to check it out. Nectar plants like Penstemon (Moon-marked Skipper shown), Kaibab Pussytoes, Canada Violets, Fleabane and Dandelion are blooming. Other species of butterflies like to mud puddle at one of the three seeps we will visit. Yet others, like California Sister and Satyr Comma, are mostly found perched on trees. Please wear sturdy shoes and a hat, bring water, snacks and a sacklunch. A pair of close focusing binoculars will be handy too. The trail is moderately steep in places, but we will take our time. Trip leader: Marceline VandeWater Meeting place is Denny’s on Shea Blvd in Fountain Hills at 6:30am or at the trailhead at 8:15am. Details to get to the trailhead: Drive to Payson, go straight at the hwy 260 intersection. After 3/4 mile turn right onto Houston Mesa Road. Cross all 3 "water crossings", and after about 8 miles turn left at the stop sign. The road now turns into a dirt road. After about 1 miles turn right towards Shadow Rim Camp and Washington Park Trailhead. Follow this road up for about 5.5 miles until the right turn-off to the Washington Park Trailhead (marked). Turn right here, and instantly turn left (signs again) and you will find the trailhead well marked. Please contact (tbd) to let her know where you will meet: xxxxxx We ask for a $5 donation per person. read more »

7/29/2017      Field trip: East Clear Creek with leader tbd

On Saturday July 29th, we will explore East Clear Creek above the Mongollon Rim. Because of the high elevation (8000 feet), this canyon is best visited between mid-April and mid-October. It can be reached by taking a 6 mile dirt road off of Hwy 87, about 9 miles north of Clint’s Well. We will park the car where the road crosses the creek, and explore East Clear Creek and one of its tributaries. Key species for this area are: Nokomis Fritillary (male pictured), Afranius Duskywing, Long Dash and Northern Crescent. Please wear sturdy shoes and a hat, bring water, snacks and a sacklunch. A pair of close focusing binoculars will be handy too. Trip leader: Marceline VandeWater. Meeting place: Denny’s on Shea Blvd in Fountain Hills at 6:30 am. We ask for a $5 donation per person. read more »

8/19/2017      Moth Night at Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Join CAzBA for Moth Night at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum close to Superior. We will have a mercury-vapor light and white sheet set-up, and we will help with ID-ing the moths and other insects attracted to it. We'll have plenty opportunity to photograph and observe moths, lace-wings, arthropods, scorpions and more. There will be a slide show in the lecture room, and a scorpion walk. Judging by our prior Moth Nights, you can expect an event that will be great fun for families, kids, entomologists and photographers - just about everyone who enjoys a little adventure outdoors and after dark. Please wear closed-toe shoes and bring a flashlight or headlamp. For non-BTA members, a $5 donation (per adult, CASH PLEASE!) to the BTA would be appreciated. read more »

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Recent events

4/22/2017      Field trip: Rackensack Canyon with Janet Witzeman

Meet at 8:30 A.M. at the southeast corner of the junction of the Cave Creek Road and the road turning off to Bartlett Dam (about 8 miles East of Carefree). Bring a lunch, water, and close focus binoculars. On a butterfly trip to this area in the same month 3 years ago, we recorded 28 species of butterflies, including the amazing Yucca Giant-Skipper. We will also pay attention to the wildflowers, with checklist provided...Difficulty: moderate (no real trails, rocky creek bed). For questions, please email Janet Witzeman at jlwitzeman@aol.com We ask for a $5 donation. read more »

4/8/2017      First time McDowell Mountain Preserve SPRING Butterfly Count

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy will be conducting its first Spring Butterfly Count on April 8th, and is looking for volunteers. (A complementary trainings session will be held at the Mustang Library in Scottsdale on April 4th). Please save these dates and email us at the Preserve for more information: plantmonitor@mcdowellsonoran.org read more »

4/4/2017      Butterfly identification training at the Mustang Library by Dr. Ron Rutowski

Spring starts early in the Sonoran Desert and by April the butterflies are out in full force hovering over blooming wildflowers. Join Dr. Ron Rutowski, butterfly expert and professor at ASU, for a fantastic opportunity to learn how to identify butterflies common to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Are there white dots on the forewings and orange circles on the hindwings? Could be Pipevine Swallowtail (pictured). Are there small orange butterflies hovering over Desert Honeysuckle? Likely we're looking at Tiny or Elada Checkerspots. This McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Field Institute presentation is designed to prepare volunteers to participate in the Preserve spring butterfly count, but everyone is welcome to attend. RSVP to plantmonitor@mcdowellsonoran.org read more »

3/25/2017      Field trip: Butterflies along the Beeline Highway with Ron Rutowski

Spring starts early in the Upper Sonoran Desert. By March many wildflowers are in bloom and on warm days the spring butterflies – Orangetips, Marbles, Spring Azures, Variable Checkerspots, etc. - are out in force. This month the CAzBA field trip is to Round Valley in the Mazatzal Mountains, just at the upper elevational limit of the Sonoran Desert. Here, there is stream-side riparian vegetation, stands of mesquite on the flood plain, and hillsides dotted with cacti and annual wildflowers, all of which makes for a rich and accessible butterfly community. This area is about 50 miles from Phoenix where the Beeline highway crosses Sycamore Creek, right before the road climbs to Sunflower Valley. We will explore a side drainage of Sycamore Creek where Variable Checkerspots and Empress Leilia will be common. After that, we will drive up to Sunflower and walk on the "old" Beeline to the ranger station. At the ranger station, we will sit down at the picnic tables for lunch. Sagebrush Checkerspot (pictured) and Zela Metalmark are some of the regulars there. Please gather at the Denny's on Shea Blvd. in Fountain Hills at 8:30AM. Wear sturdy shoes, bring water, snacks/lunch and close focus binoculars. For questions, please email Ron Rutowski at rrutowski@cox.net. We ask for a $5 donation. read more »

2/25/2017      Monarch research and conservation update with Karen Oberhauser and Gail Morris.

This won't be a usual "sit-back-and-listen" session. We'll discuss research topics that are relevant to monarch conservation, focusing on those about which there is some controversy. In some cases, the controversy results from misinformation, but in others, there are no right answers. Bring an open mind and a willingness to share what you know as we discuss topics such as the evidence that monarch populations are declining, mass rearing and commercial sales of monarchs, impacts of /Ascelpias curassavica/ on winter breeding, and other topics. Karen Oberhauser is a Professor in the Dept. of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota, where she and her students conduct research on several aspects of monarch butterfly ecology. Her research depends on traditional lab and field techniques, as well as the contributions of a variety of audiences through citizen science. In 1996, she and graduate student Michelle Prysby started a nationwide Citizen Science project called the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, which continues to engage hundreds of volunteers throughout North America. Karen has authored over 90 papers on her research on monarchs, insect conservation, and citizen science. Karen is passionate about the conservation of the world’s biodiversity, and believes that the connections her projects promote between monarchs, humans, and the natural world promote meaningful conservation action. She is the chair of the Monarch Joint Venture, and a founding officer of the Monarch Butterfly Fund. In 2013, Karen received a White House Champion of Change award for her work with Citizen Science. Gail is the Coordinator of the Southwest Monarch Study, a Citizen Science project, studying the migration and breeding patterns of monarch butterflies in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, western Colorado and the deserts of California. She is an alumni of Michigan State University and the University of Notre Dame and the principal author of “Status of /Danaus plexippus/ in Arizona” published in June, 2015. Gail is a frequent workshop presenter and blogger on monarch conservation in the Southwest bridging citizen scientists in the field with the academic community and government agencies. She is the Vice-President of the Monarch Butterfly Fund and a Monarch Watch Conservation Specialist. read more »