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.

Upcoming events


9/12/2015      9th Annual Butterfly Count at Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Please consider joining us at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum on Saturday September 12th as we tackle our 9th 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 5 years ago! 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. Hope you can join us! read more »

9/19/2015      Monarch Tagging in Canelo with Gail Morris (joint field trip with SEABA).

Trip Location: Turkey Creek near the town of Canelo in the Forest Service Administrative Area (requires a permit to enter) which is approximately 15-20 miles south of Sonoita Meeting places and time: 1. 6:00AM at Fry’s Electronics at 2300 West Baseline Road, Tempe (nw corner of I-10 & Baseline Rd), at the parking lot close to Baseline Rd. in order to carpool down to Sonoita. 2. 8:30AM at the Shell station on SE corner of hwy 83 & hwy 82 in Sonoita. Please be prompt as Monarchs are flying and will be active at this time of day. There is an additional 1/2 hour drive to Turkey Creek. Approximate stop time: 12:30PM Trip Leaders: Gail & Bob Morris from the Southwest Monarch Study Trip description: This combined CAzBA and SEABA trip will be a fantastic opportunity to learn and to help, if you wish, to tag Monarchs and to view/photograph many other species of butterflies. This portion of Turkey Creek is in the Administrative Area of Forest Service Land and requires a permit which has a limit of 22 people (including leaders). CAzBA & SEABA have authorized this tagging trip which will include possible netting but no collecting. Turkey creek is a very beautiful riparian area with possible water in the creek and has fields with many thistles in bloom; both of which will attract a variety of butterflies including Monarchs, Swallowtails, Queens, Ladies, Skippers and others. Last year on this trip we saw 24 species and tagged a number of Monarchs. The road from Sonoita to Turkey Creek is a narrow paved road with some potholes. The final ¼ - ½ mile is dirt with possible washboard areas. Passenger cars should have no problem on this trip. Picnic tables are available for lunch at site. Gail & Bob Morris/Southwest Monarch Study have the permit that allows access to this government site and we are privileged to be invited to join them to learn more about Monarchs. Type of terrain: mostly level with tall grass and some bushes but uneven ground due to grass clumps. Some damp/wet marshy areas and in order to cross the creek it will entail walking through 6” to 8” of water for about 2-4’ in distance. Both sides of the creek are good and those who don’t want to get wet can stay on the near side. However, best results are obtained by venturing across the creek. Please RSVP to: 1. SEABA members contact Bill & Mary Adams at: Adams542@cox.net or (520) 574-6578. 2. CAzBA members contact Marceline VandeWater at: marceline@ermaroni.net or (602) 689-4356. Only the first 10 people from SEABA and the first 10 people from CAzBA to RSVP will be able to attend due to permit restrictions. Things to remember: Beginners are welcome on all field trips. Carpooling from Phoenix to the meeting site is encouraged (it will take about 2.5 hours to get to Sonoita)... and it is kind to share gas expenses. High clearance vehicles may be required for some trips. read more »

9/22/2015      Meeting: (NOTE DATE CHANGE!) Butterflies of Colorado with Tom Horton

Tom Horton, vice-president of CAzBA, will give a presentation on the butterflies of Colorado tonight. He has hiked many mountain meadows searching for butterflies, while visiting his daughter, son-in-law and precious grandson Keegan in Denver. We can expect high-elevation species like Parnassians and Fritillaries. Please come and join us for a great photo journey, with time to socialize and sample Laura’s delicious homemade cookies and lemonade. Meeting will be held 7-9pm, 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 »

10/3/2015      2nd. Annual McDowell Sonoran Preserve Butterfly Count

Note: this is NOT a CAzBA organized event! The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy will be conducting a butterfly count on October 3rd. and is looking for volunteers. Training will be conducted at the Mustang Library-Scottsdale by Dr. Ron Rutowski on September 30th at 5:30 PM. Please save these dates, and email us for more information: Melanie Tluczek (melanie@mcdowellsonoran.org) or Brian Rea (sunreas@gmail.com) read more »

10/13/2015      Meeting: (NOTE DATE CHANGE!) Evaluation of the BTA and McDowell Sonoran Preserve Count and some difficult butterfly ID's

The results of the BTA and the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Butterfly Count will be reviewed along with pictures of the species seen There will also be additional photos of AZ butterflies to look at so we can work on some ID issues. This discussion will allow for time for specific questions about species and species groups. It will provide an opportunity for us to learn from each other about butterfly identification and identification challenges. read more »


Recent events

8/15/2015      Moth Night at Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Join CAzBA for Moth Night at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum close to Superior. Michael Wilson will be our guest expert tonight. He is an Arizona botanist and entomologist, currently helping authors publish their science & nature books. Michael will bring his mercury-vapor light and white sheet set-up, and help us ID the moths and other insects attracted to it. We'll have plenty opportunity to photograph and observe moths, lace-wings, arthropods, scorpions and more. There will be a slide show in the lecture room, and a scorpion walk. 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. For non-BTA members, a $5 donation (per adult, CASH PLEASE!) to BTA would be appreciated. read more »

7/18/2015      Field trip - Flagstaff Area with Kurt Radamaker

We will explore part of Schultz Pass Road and meadows around the Snowbowl ski area, or maybe Locket Meadow on the north side of the San Francisco Peaks. Possibilities include: Northern and Mexican Cloudywings, Western Tiger Swallowtail, Queen Alexandra's Sulpur, 'Canyon' Bramble and Thicket Hairstreak, Western Pine Elfin, Zephyr and Hoary Comma, California Tortoisesshell, Pine Whte, and maybe Alberta Arctic. Meet at 6:30 at the Barnes and Nobles in the mall on Happy Valley Road just E of I-17. If people want to meet me in Flagstaff, they can contact me to make arrangements. Wear sturdy footwear. 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 eat lunch in Flag. Contact Kurt Radamaker at kurtrad@mexicobirding.com to sign up. We ask for a $5 donation. read more »

6/27/2015      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, June 27th (originally June 20th) 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 read more »

6/6/2015      Field trip: Colonel Devin Trail with Marceline VandeWater

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 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). 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@ermaroni.net We ask for a $5 donation per person. read more »

4/18/2015      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). We ask for a $5 donation. read more »