Central Arizona Butterfly Association

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.

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


3/24/2018      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 »

4/7/2018      McDowell Sonoran Conservancy's second Spring Butterfly Count and training session

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy will be conducting its second Spring Butterfly Count on April 7, and is looking for volunteers. (A complementary trainings session will be held at the Mustang Library in Scottsdale on April 3rd, 6pm-7:30pm). Please save these dates and email us at the Preserve for more information: plantmonitor@mcdowellsonoran.org read more »

4/14/2018      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 4 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 donati read more »

5/5/2018      Garden Talk & Tour with Gail Morris

Summer is right around the corner but it’s not too late to think about your fall butterfly garden. Fall is the premier butterfly season so let’s talk about the best practices to not only help your garden survive but thrive this summer. Our discussion will include easy to grow host and nectar plants as well as garden care. Get ready for our summer monsoon and plant seeds so they’ll bloom just in time for the fall butterfly frenzy! We’ll have handouts plus easy to grow seeds and some host plants for you to take home, too. We’ll meet at Gail Morris’s house in Chandler for today’s meeting, so be ready to be outside in the garden. Please email Gail if for more information: gail-marie@cox.net read more »

6/16/2018      Field trip Tonto Fish Hatchery with Laura Miller

In June/July, butterflying can be good along Tonto Creek, elevation 6000’ – 6500’, in the Mongollon Rim area and it doesn’t require a high-clearance vehicle. There are several places to stop along the 3 mile road up to the Tonto Fish Hatchery. Temperatures in the high 70’s will beat the Valley’s summer heat. Important nectarplants are: AZ Thistle, Butterfly Weed, Buckbrush, Watercress, Bergamot, Dogbane. A total of 36 species were seen in July 2011, with as highlights: Sylvan Hairstreak (pictured), Common Wood-Nymph, Queen Alexandra’s Sulphur. read more »


Recent events

2/10/2018      Butterfly exhibition, conservation and research at Desert Botanical Garden

Visit the Desert Botanical Garden and learn about their work on butterflies. Staff from the Garden will talk about their seasonal Butterfly Exhibit, the work they are doing for monarch butterfly conservation, and research on native butterfly species. We will tour the Spring Butterfly Exhibit before it is open to the public. Presenters: Dr. Kim Pegram, Insect Ecologist and Exhibit Specialist; Lauren Svorinic, Assistant Director of Exhibits; Natalie Melkonoff, Plant and Insect Ecology Assistant read more »

1/13/2018      World of Bugs at our Annual Membership Potluck

Join the Central Arizona Butterfly Association (CAzBA) Saturday, Jan. 13 from Noon to 3 p.m. for a fun, educational, and interesting lecture with Butterfly Wonderland's Entomology Curator Lauren Davidson who offers insights into the world of bugs and their amazing journeys of “love”. Meet some of these bugs up close, and even enjoy a sampling of edible insect treats. This is CAzBA's annual Membership Meeting where we will approve the 2018 board, have the treasurer go over the treasurer's report and talk about our plans for the upcoming year. It is a potluck so please bring a dish to share. Location is 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 »

11/18/2017      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 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 »

11/5/2017      Tips on butterfly photography at Boyce Thompson Arboretum with nature photographer Lisa Langell and butterfly expert Marceline VandeWater

Lisa Langell will be giving a PowerPoint presentation loaded with little tips on how to photograph butterflies in their natural habitat. And Marceline VandeWater will talk about butterfly identification, butterfly behavior and their life cycle accompanied by more butterfly photos. The lectures will be 45 minutes long followed by some hands-on practice on the beautiful BTA grounds. This workshop is limited to 20 participants. The program is $35. It will start at 8:30 in the lecture room.Details follow when you register. Email Lisa at lisa@langellphotography.com read more »

10/21/2017      Members Garden Tour 2017 with Laura Miller.

This tour was a huge success last year, so we will do it again! Join us on our final field trip of 2017 on Saturday October 21, 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 (tbd) 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 »