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


9/4/2016      Annual Grand Canyon South Rim Butterfly Count

Gail Morris will be leading this count. The species numbers are a bit low but the number of monarchs is healthy - usually 55 or so the last two years - so there will be plenty opportunities to help tag them. Butterfly brochures are made for easy identification for beginners. We would love for the Grand Canyon Counts to continue even if we only have a few volunteers. The circles include the south rim and Indian Gardens and the volunteers will be divided into teams to cover different areas. Please let Gail know you are interested in helping with this count! Also carpooling might be an option. Gail Morris: gail-marie@cox.net read more »

9/10/2016      10th Annual Butterfly Count at Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Please consider joining us at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum on Saturday September 12th as we tackle our 10th 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 6 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. If you have any questions, please contact compiler Dr. Ron Rutowski at rrutowski@cox.net. Hope you can join us! read more »

9/17/2016      3rd Annual McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Butterfly Count

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy will be conducting a butterfly count on September 17th. and is looking for volunteers. Instructions and training will be given at the Mustang Library-Scottsdale by Dr. Ron Rutowski on Wednesday September 7th at 5:30 PM. Please save these dates, and email us for more information: Melanie Tluczek at melanie@mcdowellsonoran.org) or Usha Tatini at utatini@yahoo.com. read more »

10/15/2016      Members Garden Tour 2016 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 2016 on October 15, 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 Papago Buttes Church of the Brethren, 2450 N. 64th Street, Scottsdale, 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 »

10/25/2016      Meeting: Evaluation of the BTA and McDowell Sonoran Preserve (MSP) Count and some difficult butterfly ID's

Today, Dr. Ron Rutowski will present the results of the BTA and the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Annual Butterfly Counts along with pictures of all species seen. In a fun and informal way, he will compare similar species and species groups. There will be plenty of time for questions. You may even bring some identification challenges on a memory stick if you'd like. This will provide an opportunity for us to learn from each other, while taste testing Laura's savory homemade cookies and lemonade. read more »


Recent events

8/27/2016      Moth Night at Hassayampa River Preserve

Join CAzBA at the Hassayampa River Preserve in Wickenburg for Moth Night. We are fortunate to have Michael Wilson as our special guest again this year! After a presentation on insects, he 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 Michael 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. A $5 donation will be appreciated. read more »

7/23/2016      Field trip to Aspen Corner, Flagstaff with Marianne Jensen

On Saturday July 23, 2016, 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, 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 Marianne Jensen to sign-up: ezpixels@gmail.com read more »

6/11/2016      Field trip: Colonel Devin Trail with Marceline VandeWater

On Saturday June 11th, 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 (Moon-marked Skipper shown), 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. Photo of Moonmarked Skipper by Marceline VandeWater taken along Col. Devin Trail July 2007. read more »

5/21/2016      Tips on butterfly photography with Marceline VandeWater and Paul Kinslow.

Marceline VandeWater assisted by Paul Kinslow will be giving a PowerPoint presentation loaded with little tips on where to find and how to photograph butterflies in their natural habitat. We are by no means authorities on butterfly photography, but over the years, we have learned quite a bit about how to approach butterflies, composition (if they even give you a choice;-), how to deal with things like the depth of field, compensate for really dark or light butterflies, and other camera settings. The lecture will be 45 minutes long followed by some hands-on practice on the beautiful BTA grounds. We would like to limited this session to 12 participants, as we would like to give everyone enough attention. If we have enough people on the waiting list, we will organize another workshop later this year. So please RSVP to reserve a seat for this fun free program: marceline@ermaroni.net If you're not a member of BTA, you do have to pay the $10 admission fee at the entrance... read more »

4/16/2016      Saving Monarch Butterflies, One Garden at a Time - Steve & Julie Plath. NOTE: THIS IS NOT A CAZBA ORGANIZED EVENT!

On April 16, Carefree Desert Gardens welcomes Steve and Julie Plath, owners of Signature Botanica LLC. They will share how a carefully planted home garden can have a profound effect on this trend by providing a refuge and habitat for breeding Monarchs. Their nursery, in Morristown, Arizona, produces native plants for ecological restoration used throughout the state and provides milkweeds for Monarch Watch and Southwest Monarch Study. Location: Town Council Chambers located in the U.S. Post Office Building, 100 Easy Street, Carefree. A $5.00 donation is appreciated. read more »