Central Arizona Butterfly Association

Phoenix Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association.

Skip Repetitive Navigational Links

Please login



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


6/6/2020      Cancelled! Field trip: Colonel Devin Trail with Marceline VandeWater

Cancelled! On Saturday June 6th, 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, 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 Arizona Sister (shown) and Satyr Comma, are mostly found perched on trees. Trip leader: Marceline VandeWater 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 Marceline VandeWater to let her know where you will meet: marceline at ermaroni.net We ask for a $5 donation per person. read more »

7/25/2020      Field trip: Aspen Corner, Flagstaff, with Marianne Jensen

On Saturday July 24th, Marianne Jensen will lead a walk at Aspen Corner off Snowbowl Road in Flagstaff. This is always a rewarding place to look for butterflies as you have a few environments including, Aspen stands, meadows and a tank. If you like to photograph other arthropods, there are always lots of interesting species. *Butterflies: we will look for higher elevation species like Northwestern (Atlantis) Fritillary, Western Tiger Swallowtail, Pine White, Boisduval's Blue, Melissa Blue (see photo), Arachne Checkerspot, Weidemeyer's Admiral, Hoary Comma, Garita Skipperling, Taxiles Skipper, Snow's Skipper... *Beautiful Day flying Moths: Police Car Moth (*Gnophaela vermiculata*), Ctenucha Moth (Ctenucha virginica), and Red Lichen Moth (Lycomorpha fulgens) *Interesting Flies: Robber Fly, Orange Tachinid Fly and Yellow-belted Tachinid Fly Meet Laura Miller at 6:30am at the Barnes and Nobel, 2501 W Happy Valley Road, just E of 1-17. The group will then carpool to Aspen Corner, where Marianne will meet-up at 9am. If you plan to go to Aspen Corner directly, here are the directions: from Phoenix, travel north on I-17 to Flagstaff. Connect with US180 and drive 7 miles north to Snowbowl Road. Turn right and head 5.2 miles uphill to Aspen Corner. Look for a parking area on the left along a split-rail fence. Wear sturdy footwear and dress in layers. We will not be hiking long distances, but the footing can be poor and we will be at high elevations. As always, bring a wide-brimmed hat, water, and lunch. We are into the start of the monsoon season, so be prepared for this. If the clouds and rain come early, we may have to eat lunch in the car. Carpooling from the meeting site is encouraged, and it is kind to share gas expenses. A donation of $5 donation per person to benefit CAzBA is appreciated. Contact Laura Miller for carpooling from Phoenix at lmiller133@cox.net. Email Marianne Jensen if you meet up in Flagstaff: ezpixels@gmail.com read more »

8/8/2020      Field trip: Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery with Laura Miller and Gail Morris

Join CAzBA for a field trip up north to Tonto Creek situated below the scenic Mogollon Rim northeast of Payson at an elevation of about 6000 feet northeast of Payson, This trip doesn't require a high-clearance vehicle; and there are numerous places to stop along the three-mile road that winds along uphill to the Tonto Fish Hatchery. Temperatures are usually in the high 70s up there in early June. Nectar plants we'll look for include Arizona Thistle, Blackberry, Butterfly Weed, Buckbrush, Watercress, Bergamot. Please wear sturdy shoes and a hat, bring water, snacks and a sack lunch. Binoculars are definitely recommended. Carpool to burn less gas, and get acquainted with others who love nature - catch a ride, or offer to share empty seats in your car: email Laura Miller at lmiller133@cox.net Meeting place: Denny’s on Shea Blvd in Fountain Hills at 6:30 am. We ask for a $5 donation per person. read more »

9/12/2020      14th Annual Butterfly Count at Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Please consider joining us at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum on Saturday September 12th as we tackle our 14th Annual Butterfly Count. Counting starts at 8:30AM sharp, so arrive a little early. Meeting place: visitor center of Boyce Thompson Arboretum. The total count circle has a 15 mile diameter and we will conduct a one-day census of all butterflies sighted within that circle. Volunteer participants will be assigned to a leader and will be working a part of the count circle area. For lunch we will get together at Jade Grill restaurant in Superior (or you can bring your own lunch). Here we will exchange findings & information. 79 species of butterflies appear on the Arboretum's checklist, while the record for most species observed in a single day is 44 by Marceline VandeWater during the same count in 2011! Xami Hairstreak is one of specialties that has been found in the past at the BTA. The Arboretum is located on US 60, about 20 miles east of Apache Junction. Please bring water, hat, sunscreen, sturdy shoes and binoculars. We ask for a $3 donation to benefit NABA. If you have any questions, please contact compiler Dr. Ron Rutowski at rrutowski@cox.net. Hope you can join us! read more »


Recent events

5/2/2020      Cancelled! Spring Garden Tour with Adriane Grimaldi

Cancelled! Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 2 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for Garden Tour 2020 to visit some beautiful butterfly gardens in Scottsdale with Adriane Grimaldi, CAZBA board member and Director of Education at Butterfly Wonderland. We will first meet at Butterfly Wonderland at 1 p.m. to visit their new Citizen Scientist Garden. Learn about important pollinators and how you can build your own garden and use the app INaturalist to record sightings. Then we will visit Westminster Village, a senior retirement community that has built three gardens to attract butterflies and has been a stopping ground for Monarchs. Two City of Scottsdale gardens will also be visited. Maps will be provided and carpooling will be determined on site. For more information or to register, please email adriane@butterflywonderland.com or call (480) 489-1052. read more »

4/18/2020      Cancelled!! Field trip: Rackensack Canyon with Ron Rutowski

Cancelled! 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 5 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 Ron Rutowski at rrutowski@cox.net We ask for a $5 donation. read more »

4/4/2020      McDowell Sonoran Conservancy's third Spring Butterfly Count and training session

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy will be conducting its fourth Spring Butterfly Count on Saturday April 6, and is looking for volunteers. Please email Doug Jensen at the Preserve for more information: assistantcitizenscience@mcdowellsonoran.org read more »

3/28/2020      CANCELLED! Fieldtrip to First Water TH - Superstitions with Ron Rutowski

CANCELLED! This month our field trip will explore the Sonoran Desert in the vicinity of the First Water Trailhead in the Superstition Mountains. Lush desert and streams flowing through this area should support healthy populations of spring butterflies. This will be the first CAzBA field trip to this location so it will be interesting to see the species list we manage to produce. We will meet at the First Water Trailhead Horse Lot at 9AM. To get there, go east on US 60 to State Route 88. Head north on this highway until you reach the turn off for the First Water Trailhead. Take this turn off to the Lot where we will meet. From there we will make our way toward Hackberry Spring. Difficulty: we will follow the trail, but there will be some uneven steps to it. As usual wear good hiking shoes and a hat, and bring binoculars and water. For questions or possibly setting up a carpool, please email Ron Rutowski: rrutowski@cox.net We ask for a $5 donation. read more »

2/18/2020      Meeting: "Exploring Arizona Ants" presentation by Dr. Robert A. Johnson

Ants are the world’s most successful eusocial organisms, as illustrated by their occurring virtually everywhere, having a mass similar to that of all humans, and displaying an amazing array of behaviors and life histories. I will explore this variation with emphasis on Arizona, which has the most diverse ant fauna within our US states, with about 45 genera and 335 native species. read more »