Central Arizona Butterflies 

Phoenix Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association.

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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.

Upcoming events


4/26/2014      Page Springs with Laura Miller

We will take you to a great wildlife area along Oak Creek. Two-talied Swallowtail, Zela Metalmark and "Siva" Juniper Hairstreak will be some of the species we will be looking for. Leader: Laura Miller. Meeting place and time will be 7 am at the McDonalds on Deer Valley Rd and I-17 (SE-corner) and carpool from there. Difficulty: Easy (Level dirt trails). Please bring a sacklunch.

We ask for a $5 donation.
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5/17/2014      Colonel Devin Trail with Marceline VandeWater

On Saturday May 17th 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 May is a great time to check it out. Nectar plants like Lemmon's Star, 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). Instantly turn left (signs again) and you will find the trailhead well marked.

We ask for a $5 donation per person.
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6/21/2014      White Mountains

details tbd read more »

7/12/2014      East Clear Creek with Kurt Radamaker

On Saturday July 12th, 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, for a long list of butterflies including Long Dash and Northern Crescent, key species for this area.

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: Kurt Radamaker. Meeting place: Denny’s on Shea Blvd in Fountain Hills at 6:30 am.

We ask for a $5 donation per person.
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8/23/2014      Moth Night at Hassayampa River Preserve.

NOTE: DATE HAS BEEN CHANGED!! Join CAzBA at the Hassayampa River Preserve in Wickenburg for Moth Night. We are fortunate to have biologist Margarethe Brummermann as our special guest again this year! After a presentation on insect identification, she will set up white sheets illuminated by mercury-vapor lights that will attract all kinds of insects. We'll have plenty opportunity to photograph and observe moths, lace-wings, arthropods, scorpions and more, with Margarethe to help us ID them. 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.

More details will follow...

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Recent events

4/12/2014      Rackensack Canyon with Janet Witzeman

Meet at 8:00 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).

We ask for a $5 donation.
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3/22/2014      Butterflies along the Beeline Hwy. 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.

We ask for a $5 donation.
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2/22/2014      Tour Butterfly Wonderland with Adriane Grimaldi

Spend the afternoon with fellow CAzBA members on this special guided group tour to America's largest butterfly conservatory on Saturday, Feb. 22 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Meet at Butterfly Wonderland, 9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale (Loop 101 and Via de Ventura). Wear bright colors and bring your camera. Admission will be waived!!

Butterfly Wonderland focuses greatly on education and providing an over-all amazing experience with over 2,500 tropical butterflies, featuring 50 different species and 3 different species of moths flying around in a 10,000 square foot atrium.

The first experience is a 14-minute specially edited version of the movie, "Flight of the Butterflies", which is an educational documentary of the Monarch Butterfly's migration patterns. Next, visit the Butterfly Emergence Gallery, where you can witness the butterflies emerging from their chrysalis. After visiting the tropical environment of the Butterfly Conservatory, visitors can explore the Bee and Ant and Desert Creatures Exhibit or pet the stingrays in the Stingray Touch Tank. There are also 8 aquariums with fresh water fish from the Amazon. The gift shop offers a variety of specialty items for that butterfly and nature enthusiast.

Make sure to register for tour: email Adriane at adriane@butterflywonderland.com
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1/11/2014      Annual Membership Meeting 2014

Our Annual Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, January 11, from 2 till 4pm 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 2014 board challenges, have the treasurer go over the treasurer's report and talk about our plans for the upcoming year. There will be lemonade and fresh baked cookies:)!

Our guest speaker will be Kim Pegram. She is a Ph.D. candidate at ASU working with Professor Ron Rutowski on butterfly coloration. She is also the Exhibits Specialist for Butterflies at the Desert Botanical Garden where she uses her butterfly expertise to contribute to interpretation in the Marshall Butterfly Pavilion.

The topic of her talk will be "warning coloration on the wings of butterflies". She will discuss how it works to deter attacks by predators and talk about research on the warning coloration of the Pipevine Swallowtail.

Feel free to bring a friend or two and don’t forget to check out the booktable with our 2014 CAzBA Calendar, butterfly jewelry, books, logo shirts and art.

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11/23/2013      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 2014 Butterfly Calendar, field guides, jewelry and some butterfly related art on our "booktable". 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 read more »