Butterfly Counting Time!

By Sheila Vincent, Group Programs Coordinator

Watch for butterflies like the Great-Spangled Fritillary and the Tiger Swallowtail during this Sunday’s Butterfly Count. Photo by Derek Stoner.

This Sunday, July 22, a team from the Delaware Nature Society will take part in the North American Butterfly Association’s Fourth of July Butterfly Count.  I have happily been participating in this “citizen science” program for over 10 years, helping to build up a picture of butterfly populations across the U.S. and Canada.  It is always fascinating, fun, and full of the unexpected.  

In previous counts we have encountered hundreds of Tiger Swallowtails feasting on wildflowers along Burrows Run; seen Monarchs mating at Ashland, discovered previously undocumented skipper species at Coverdale Farm… you never know what will pop up to amaze and delight a lover of Lepidoptera!

Red-spotted Purples are always a popular butterfly to observe. Photo by Derek Stoner.

The Butterfly Count takes place nationwide in 15-mile diameter circles, on selected dates during the month of July.  We participate in the Wilmington Delaware Count that covers most of northern New Castle County.  This map shows the hundreds of circles nationwide: http://www.naba.org/counts/us_mx_map.html

If you are interested in participating in this citizen science effort, meet the DNS team (led by Sheila Vincent and Derek Stoner) in the parking lot at Ashland Nature Center at 9:00am on Sunday, July 22.   We will survey Ashland first, and then head over to Coverdale Farm Preserve for the late morning and early afternoon.  Please contact Derek if you plan to participate:  derek@delawarenaturesociety.org

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