Austin, Texas, is home to about 170 species of butterflies. It is also the home of the Austin Butterfly Forum, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to butterfly conservation and to enriching people's lives through butterflies.
The Austin Butterfly Forum is a butterfly club that holds field trips, conducts butterfly counts, promotes butterfly gardening, performs conservation activities, and meets monthly for an educational presentation. We are a community of butterfly enthusiasts who also enjoy dragonflies and other bugs.
Mon May 27 meeting: History of Texas and early North American Beetle Collecting, by Mike Quinn. Mike will discuss some of the prominent beetle collectors of the last 200 years focusing on a number of the first entomologists to arrive from Europe on up to a few modern coleopterists of Texas.
Mike’s entryway into insects was through butterflies. Since earning a master's degree in entomology from Texas A&M, Mike has broadened his interest and is now heavily into beetles. He has photographed over twenty percent of Texas' 7,500 beetle species. His photos of beetles and other insects are posted on BugGuide.net and on TexasEnto.net. This will be a great talk for anyone interested in beetles and the history of entomology. Come join us!
Zilker Botanical Garden Center 7 pm. Free.
Mon, June 24 meeting: Butterflies and Nature in the Barton Creek Greenbelt by Dan Hardy. Dan has roamed the greenbelt for 20 years and he will showcase this amazing urban park and its butterflies, geology, plants, and birds. We will visit the greenbelt during the butterfly count next weekend, so this talk will prepare us for what to look for. Zilker Botanical Garden 7 pm. Free.
Sat June 29: Annual Butterfly count. Meet in the Zilker Botanical Garden parking lot at 8:00 am. If it is pouring rain we will postpone till the next day.
Everyone is welcome, including all skill levels. We count butterfly adults and caterpillars within a 15 mile diameter circle centered at Mount Bonnell. In addition to the Botanical Garden, we visit many of the best butterfly spots around town, including the Barton Creek Greenbelt and St. Edward's Park in NW Austin. We usually work as a single group.
This is the butterfly equivalent of the Christmas Bird counts. The results are submitted to NABA (North American Butterfly Association). In 2007 we had a record number of species (63) and observers (25).
Be prepared for walking through brush and wet areas. Wear long pants, hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent. Bring water, snacks, close focusing binoculars, and (optional) butterfly nets. The count typically lasts until mid afternoon, although you may leave at any time. We will have a lunch break at a restaurant. For more information contact Dan Hardy, firstname.lastname@example.org.