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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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 »

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 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 »

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 »

5/21/2017      Tips on butterfly photography with Rim Vidziunas at Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Rim Vidziunas 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. He would like to limited this session to 12 participants, as he would like to give everyone enough attention. If there are enough people on the waiting list, we will organize another workshop later this year. So please email Rim to reserve a seat for this fun free program: rimgaudasvidziunas@gmail.com 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 »

6/10/2017      Field trip: Colonel Devin Trail with (leader tbd)

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: tbd 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 »

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Recent events

1/21/2017      Annual Membership Meeting with guest speaker Dayna Cooper on Pollinators of the Southwest

The Annual Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, January 21, from 2 till 4 pm at the Papago Buttes Church of the Brethren, 2450 N. 64th Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85257 (On the NW corner of Oak and 64th St. This is about a mile north of the Desert Botanical Garden). We will discuss the 2017 board challenges, have the treasurer go over the treasurer's report and talk about our plans for the upcoming year. At our book table, we will be selling our 2017 Butterfly Calendar, field guides, jewelry and butterfly related art. There will be lemonade and fresh baked cookies:)! Our speaker for the meeting will be Dayna Cooper, curator of Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale, who will give a presentation about pollinators of the Southwest including bees, butterflies, bats and hummingbirds. About 90% of flowering plants are reliant on pollination for survival. Come learn about the very important roll insects and other animals play in our environment and food supply. read more »

11/19/2016      End-of-the Year Party

At this meeting we will evaluate our efforts, fieldtrips and meetings of the past year. We also will talk about the upcoming election of the board and membership related issues. Members and non-members will be able to show-off their most beautiful, interesting, cutest photos of butterflies, moths or caterpillars in a photo presentation. We will be selling our 2017 Butterfly Calendar, field guides, jewelry and some butterfly related art on our "book table". We will also trade host plant cuttings and seeds, and do our yearly raffle. There will definitely be time to socialize with drinks and munchies provided. Meeting will be held 2-4 pm, at Papago Buttes Church of the Brethren, 2450 N. 64th Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85257 (On the NW corner of Oak and 64th St. (This is about a mile north of the Desert Botanical Garden) read more »

10/25/2016      Meeting: Evaluation of the BTA and McDowell Sonoran Preserve (MSP) Count and some difficult butterfly ID's

Today, Dr. Ron Rutowski will present the results of the BTA and the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Annual Butterfly Counts along with pictures of all species seen. In a fun and informal way, he will compare similar species and species groups. There will be plenty of time for questions. You may even bring some identification challenges on a memory stick if you'd like. This will provide an opportunity for us to learn from each other, while taste testing Laura's savory homemade cookies and lemonade. read more »

10/15/2016      Members Garden Tour 2016 with Laura Miller. NOTE: different meeting spot than usual!!

This tour was a huge success last year, so we will do it again! Join us on our final field trip of 2016 on Saturday October 15, as we tour some of our members' butterfly gardens. We will have a chance to see different interpretations of butterfly gardens. We will meet at Fry’s Electronics 2300 W Baseline Rd, Tempe, at 9 a.m. to form carpools to travel around the valley. For more information please contact Laura Miller at Lmiller133@cox.net read more »

9/17/2016      3rd Annual McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Butterfly Count

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy will be conducting a butterfly count on September 17th. and is looking for volunteers. Instructions and training will be given at the Mustang Library-Scottsdale by Dr. Ron Rutowski on Wednesday September 7th at 5:30 PM. Please save these dates, and email us for more information: Melanie Tluczek at melanie@mcdowellsonoran.org) or Usha Tatini at utatini@yahoo.com. read more »