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


6/17/2023      Field trip Boyce Thompson Arboretum with Laura Miller and t.b.a.

We will host a trip to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum on Saturday, June 17, 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 $19 for non-members. We will not ask for a donation to CAZBA this time. read more »

7/15/2023      Field trip Aspen Corner with Marianne Jensen and Laura Miller

On Saturday July 15th, Marianne Jensen and Laura Miller will be leading 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 Detailed directions on where to meet will be given at time of reservation through Ticketleap: cazba.ticketleap.com/cazba---aspen-corner-fieldtrip/ 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 »


Recent events

5/20/2023      Field trip: Colonel Devin Trail with Marceline VandeWater

On Saturday May 20th, 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 »

4/22/2023      Field trip: Rackensack Canyon with Ron Rutowski and Adriane Grimaldi

On a butterfly trip to this area in the same month 6 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 (copy-and-paste): cazba.ticketleap.com/field-trip-to-rackensack-canyon-and-sears-kay-ruin/ read more »

4/1/2023      McDowell Sonoran Conservancy's seventh Spring Butterfly Count

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy will be conducting its sixth Spring Butterfly Count on Saturday April 1, and is looking for volunteers. Please email Doug Jensen at the Preserve for more information: assistantcitizenscience@mcdowellsonoran.org read more »

3/18/2023      Fieldtrip from First Water Road - Superstitions with Ron Rutowski

Join us Saturday, March 18, in a search for butterflies along the Apache Trail. Some of the locations we hope to visit are First Water Creek, Tortilla Creek, Mesquite Flat, and the Fish Creek Hill Viewpoint. We have not hosted a butterflying trip into these areas before so it will be interesting to see what we find. A recent trip to the area turned up Small Checkered Skipper and Arizona Powdered Skipper in addition to many of the butterflies typical of the upper Sonoran Desert in the spring. 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. Detailed directions will be given at time of reservation through Ticketleap. Register and reserve your spot here: cazba.ticketleap.com/cazba--fieldtripfrom1stwaterroad/ (Sagebrush Checkerspot pictured) read more »

2/18/2023      Meeting with guest speaker Lynne Nemeth: Ecological Challenges to Boyce Thompson Arboretum & the Sonoran Desert

Join the Central Arizona Butterfly Association (CAzBA) Saturday, Feb 18th, from 2 pm to 4 pm for a presentation by Lynne Nemeth, Executive Director, Boyce Thompson Arboretum. The southwestern US is disproportionately affected by climate change and long-term drought. Boyce Thompson Arboretum Executive Director Lynne Nemeth will present a talk about the ecological challenges facing Boyce Thompson Arboretum and the Sonoran Desert as development and climate change continue to impact our desert plants and wildlife. 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 »