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


6/15/2024      Field trip Boyce Thompson Arboretum with Laura Miller.

We will host a trip to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum on Saturday, June 15, to see what is flying about. A recent trip found many queens and swallowtails around the blooming tenaza trees. Some skippers, sulphurs, blues, and other species were found, as well as some nice dragonflies at the lake. We will begin our walk at 7:30 AM at the visitor center. It will be getting warm quickly, so we want to head out early and promptly. Knowing our group, we'll probably stop for anything that flies, crawls, slithers, hops, or runs across our path. BTA is always a great place to see birds, insects, amphibians, and reptiles. We invite anyone who visits BTA that morning to join us -- so we may have some newbies with questions. That's the way most of us began! Please advised that admission to BTA is $24.95 for non-members. We will not ask for a donation to CAZBA this time. read more »

7/20/2024      Field trip Aspen Corner with Gail Morris and Marianne Jensen.

On Saturday July 20th starting at 9AM, Gail Morris and 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 (pictured), Boisduval's Blue, Melissa Blue, 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. To get to Aspen Corner, take Highway 180 northwest from Flagstaff (toward the Grand Canyon) about 6-7 miles to the Snowbowl Road. The Aspen Corner trailhead and parking area is just a little over 5 miles up the Snowbowl Road. That is where we will gather at 9AM. 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. A $5 donation per person to benefit CAzBA will be appreciated. read more »

8/17/2024      Fieldtrip "up north" with Ron Rutowski

This is just a placeholder! Location will be determined when the date comes closer. read more »

9/14/2024      Annual BTA Butterfly Count

On Saturday September 14th we tackle our 18th Annual Butterfly Count. The total count circle has a 15-mile diameter, and we will conduct a one-day census of all butterflies sighted within that circle. 80 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 the specialties that has been found in the past at the Arboretum. We will gather on the patio at the Visitor Center at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum (Superior, AZ) at 8:15 AM. If you are not a member of the Arboretum, tell the folks you are there for the butterfly count and they will allow you to enter without paying the admission fee. We will organize into three teams, each of which will be led by an experienced counter and cover a different area in the count circle. Prior experience counting and identifying butterflies is helpful but not required. All comers are welcome. Sturdy walking shoes, hats, and a full water bottle will be needed by counters in all the areas. All teams will return to the Arboretum at noon to share, review, and compile results and to eat lunch (BYO) and socialize in the picnic area. For more information contact Ron Rutowski (rrutowski(at)cox(dot) net). read more »

9/29/2024      Maricopa County Parks annual fall butterfly count

Maricopa County Parks could use your help with the fall butterfly count. Please email Juanita Armstrong at Juanita.Armstrong at Maricopa.Gov for more information or to find the county park closest to you! read more »


Recent events

5/18/2024      Field trip: Colonel Devin Trail with Marceline VandeWater

On Saturday May 18th, 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 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 and Satyr Comma, are mostly found perched on trees. (Moon-marked Skipper pictured) Meeting place is Denny’s on Shea Blvd in Fountain Hills at 6:30am or at the Washington Park 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 after 0.5 mile. Please contact trip leader Marceline VandeWater to let her know where you will meet: marceline at ermaroni.net We ask for a $5 donation per person. Wear sturdy shoes and a hat, bring water, snacks and a sack lunch. A pair of binoculars will be handy too. The trail is moderately steep in places, but we will take our time. Limit 15 participants A donation of $5 per person to benefit CAzBA will be appreciated. read more »

4/20/2024      Field trip: Rackensack Canyon with Adriane Grimaldi

On a butterfly trip to this area in the same month 7 years ago, we recorded 28 species of butterflies, including the amazing Yucca Giant-Skipper (pictured). We will also pay attention to the wildflowers, with checklist provided. We will meet at the southwest corner of Cave Creek Rd and Bartlett Dam Rd (turn off to Bartlett Lake) at 8:30 am. Difficulty: moderate (no real trails, rocky creek bed). As usual wear good hiking shoes and a hat and bring binoculars, water and snacks/lunch. A donation of $5 per person to benefit CAzBA will be appreciated. read more »

3/23/2024      Maricopa County Parks annual spring butterfly count

Maricopa County Parks could use your help with the spring and/or fall butterfly counts. The Maricopa County Parks will be running their 2024 spring butterfly counts on Saturday, March 23. Counts will be held at five of their parks around the valley: Estrella Mountain, White Tanks, Usery Mountain, Hassyampa River, and Spur Cross. Counters at all levels of experience are welcome to join in, but you need to sign up for the count and for the workshop the Tuesday before the count. You can learn more about the count and how to sign up here: https://www.maricopacountyparks.net/about-us/butterfly-monitoring-program/ read more »

3/16/2024      Fieldtrip to the Superstitions - with Ron Rutowski

Join us Saturday, March 16, in a search for butterflies typical of the upper Sonoran Desert in the spring. This trip will go up the Apache Trail into the Superstition Mountains. We will meet at the junction of the Apache Trail (State Route 88) and North First Water Road at 9:00 AM. There is an informal parking area there on the north side of North First Water Road, just as you start onto that road. From there we will venture up the Apache Trail stopping at Tortilla Creek, Mesquite Flat, and the Fish Creek Overlook. These have proven to be productive locations for seeing butterflies in the past. As usual, wear good hiking shoes and a hat and bring binoculars, water, and snacks/lunch. A donation of $5 per person to benefit CAzBA will be appreciated.If you have any questions about this trip, please email the leader, Ron Rutowski (rrutowski at cox dot net). read more »

11/19/2023      End-of-the Year Party PLEASE NOTE THE DATE: SUNDAY NOV. 19th!

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. More details to come! We will be selling field guides, jewelry and some butterfly related art at our "book table". We will also trade plant cuttings and seeds, and do our yearly raffle. There will definitely be time to socialize with drinks and munchies provided. read more »