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


2/24/2024      Meeting with guest speaker Dr. Julie Stromberg, Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University: Diversity of Life in a Riparian Garden: Butterflies and Moths.

Urban gardens play increasingly important roles in sustaining regional diversity of flora and fauna. For the past two decades, Dr. Stromberg and her partner have re-wilded their urban acreage in South Phoenix. They report the changes they have made, their rationale, and their consequences in their recent book, Bringing Home the Wild: A Riparian Garden in a Southwest City (U.A. Press). Her talk will highlight the experiences reported in their book, especially those with butterflies, moths, and the plants that support them. Dr. Stromberg spent decades at Arizona State University as a plant ecologist researching the wetlands and riparian ecosystems of the American Southwest. She is the author of a hundred-plus scientific articles and continues to write while also tending a food forest and riparian garden in the city. 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 8:30AM. There is an informal parking area there on the north side of North First Water Road, just as you start onto that road. Here is a link to the location. https://maps.apple.com/?ll=33.467764,-111.477867&q=Dropped%20Pin&_ext=EiQpev1CsN+7QEAxexexXZXeW8A5ev1CsN+7QEBBexexXZXeW8A%3D 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 »

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 »

4/20/2024      Field trip: Rackensack Canyon with Ron Rutowski and 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. We will also pay attention to the wildflowers, with checklist provided. Detailed directions to meeting place will be given at time of reservation. Difficulty: moderate (no real trails, rocky creek bed). As usual wear good hiking shoes and a hat and bring binoculars, water and snacks/lunch. Limited to 20 people A donation of $5 per person to benefit CAzBA will be appreciated. Register and reserve your spot here: (link tba) read more »

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 »


Recent events

2/6/2024      Conservation Speaker Series at Butterfly Wonderland

We have a speaker from NAU sharing about mapping the rainforest with NASA technology. Our very own Gail will be one of our amazing speakers with a timely topic on Monarchs. Danielle Carlock from SCC and Maricopa Pollinator Pathway will also be a speaker. More info can be found at: https://butterflywonderland.com/flight-for-the-future/ read more »

1/20/2024      Annual Membership Meeting with guest speaker Becky Hardy: "Butterflies of the Verde Valley":

On Saturday, January 20th, 2024, please join butterfly enthusiast, Becky Hardy, for an informative presentation about the butterflies in the Verde Valley. Over 100 butterfly species have been observed in the Verde Valley. Becky will share what species one would expect to find in the area, along with those species that aren't seen as often and where to find them. On July 17th, she and a group of butterfliers found a skipper that had not been observed in the Verde Valley before. In her 2023 Sedona Hummingbird Festival presentation, she alluded to the possibility of finding even more species. This is due to the fact there have not been as many NABA butterfly counts in the Verde Valley as in other parts of Arizona. On August 13th, it happened again! Join us to find out what species were found and in what location. (Pictured: Tropical Least Skipper photographed at Dead Horse State Park). This is also CAzBA's annual Membership Meeting where we will approve the 2024 board, have the treasurer go over the treasurer's report and talk about our plans for the upcoming year. We will be selling field guides, jewelry and other butterfly related art on our "book table". There will be time to socialize with drinks and munchies provided. Location is Papago Buttes Church of the Brethren, 2450 N. 64th Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85257 (On the NW corner of Oak and 64th St. (about a mile north of the Desert Botanical Garden). 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 »

10/17/2023      Summary of 2023 Butterfly Counts in Central Arizona

We are looking forward to our October meeting and hearing about the results of the recent butterfly counts in Central Arizona. At this meeting of the Central Arizona Butterfly Association led by our president, Ron Rutowski, we will review the results of the three butterfly counts that were done in Central Arizona in 2023. The results will be compared to previous years and we will explore the causes of year-to-year changes in the number of species and individuals recorded. 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 homemade cookies and lemonade. read more »

10/7/2023      Excursion to Butterfly Wonderland

Spend the afternoon with fellow CAzBA members on this special guided group tour to the largest butterfly conservatory in the U.S. on Saturday, October 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Meet at Butterfly Wonderland, 9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale (Loop 101 and Via de Ventura). Wear bright colors and bring your camera. FREE to CAZBA members ONLY. Must register with adriane@butterflywonderland.com. Space is limited to 25. Butterfly Wonderland focuses greatly on education and providing an over-all amazing experience with tropical butterflies, featuring 50-60 different species and currently 3 different species of moths. 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 Reptiles and Spineless Giant Bugs Exhibit and then visit our Tropical Waters exhibit. 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 »