CVC Butterfly Blitz 2019's Boletim

20 de setembro de 2019

Summary of the 2019 CVC Butterfly Blitz

As the organizers of the 2019 CVC Butterfly Blitz, @lindseyjennings, @lchung and myself would like to say a great big THANK YOU to all of you for participating! Whether you contributed one butterfly sighting or 100, you were an important part of our project.

Here’s a quick summary of what we found this year:

• Between June 22 and August 24, there were 1,157 observations of 57 different butterfly species added to our iNaturalist project
• We saw a 600% increase in the number of butterfly observations submitted to iNaturalist in the Credit River Watershed for 2019 compared to 2018; this is significantly higher than the average increase of 68% in observations in other taxonomic groups in the watershed over the same time period
• For 44 of the 57 butterfly species observed, we increased the number of observations on iNaturalist by 50% or more; for example, Common Wood Nymph had 5 records in the watershed before 2019 and 33 records from 2019
• We added the first observations on iNaturalist in the watershed for five butterfly species (Dion Skipper, Crossline Skipper, Mulberry Wing, Acadian Hairstreak, Giant Swallowtail)
• We observed a provincially rare butterfly species (Black Dash) and one species that hadn’t been reported from the watershed in 20 years (Dion Skipper)
• In our one-day butterfly count on June 29th, 18 people recorded 476 butterflies from 26 species at nine sites in the upper watershed; the data from this count was submitted to the North American Butterfly Association
• Throughout the summer, six people completed 33 timed surveys and recorded 1118 butterflies from 44 species; these data were submitted to eButterfly

All together, we collected over 2500 records of 57 butterfly species in the Credit River Watershed – a wonderful amount of data on an under-surveyed group. As we repeat the Butterfly Blitz over time, the data will help us track trends and provide insights to help protect and restore wildlife habitat in the Credit River Watershed.

For more summaries of the Butterfly Blitz, check out our CVC blog post here: and the presentation we gave at the August 24th wrap up event here:

If you’re interested in learning more about the Butterfly Blitz or would like to know how to get involved next year, contact Lindsey Jennings:, 905-670-1615 ext. 445.

Posted on 20 de setembro de 2019, 02:01 PM by lltimms lltimms | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

29 de agosto de 2019

Butterfly Blitz Feedback Survey

Hello Butterfly Blitzers!

Once again, I’d like to say thank you for participating in our first butterfly blitz program in the Credit River Watershed! We appreciate all your time and efforts making observations, submitting timed surveys and participating in the one-day count. On iNaturalist, we observed 1153 individuals, 57 butterfly species and even spotted a couple of rare ones! Our observations are even more impressive when combined with the timed survey results (to be shared soon!) and the one-day count. If you still need to submit timed survey results, please contact Laura (ltimms). Congratulations to all of you on contributing valuable data to an under-served area of science!

We are continuously working to improve our events and programs and would appreciate your feedback. Please take two minutes to complete our survey: Your name will be entered into a draw to win an annual pass to Credit Valley and Toronto and Region Conservation Area Parks (if you provide your email address at the end of the survey)!

To stay informed about upcoming events, please sign up for CVC’s e-newsletter “Credit Valley Conversations” or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Thanks so much for your participation. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Posted on 29 de agosto de 2019, 12:58 PM by lchung lchung | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

21 de agosto de 2019

Reminder: Wrap-up event this Saturday!

We're in the final days of the Butterfly Blitz - but there is still time to get a few more observations in!

And, there is also still time to register for the wrap-up event being held this Saturday. We'd love to see you there - please visit the link below and let us know if you are coming.

Where: Terra Cotta Conservation Area, Watershed Learning Centre
14452 Winston Churchill Blvd, Terra Cotta, ON L0P 1N0
When: August 24, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
RSVP: Please visit the CVC Events website to register for this event so that we know you're coming
(see Register Online link at bottom of the page)


Posted on 21 de agosto de 2019, 05:33 PM by lltimms lltimms | 2 comentários | Deixar um comentário

16 de agosto de 2019

Observation of the week – August 10-16, 2019

A Peck’s Skipper, seen by @carl-adam, is our Observation of the Week for August 10th to 16th:

Peck’s Skipper is our most commonly observed native skipper species, and it is currently tied with the introduced European Skipper for the number of observations in this year’s blitz.

I have to admit that I didn’t think very much of Peck’s Skipper before this year, but I have been charmed by this little brown butterfly during our blitz. I like the colour pattern on the underside of the wings, which is more interesting and distinctive than many of our other grass skippers. The ID note that I read in my Butterflies Through Binoculars field guide has stuck with me: Peck’s is a pointer, referring to the middle cell in the lighter area on the underside of the hindwing which points out towards the edge.

Peck’s Skipper can be found in both disturbed and more natural grassy areas – this year in our blitz it has been found in both Mississauga parks as well as northern watershed conservation areas. In addition, while Peck’s Skipper only has one generation per year in much of Ontario, in our region and areas further south it has two generations.

This extended life cycle plus its generalist habitat preferences are what makes it one of our most commonly observed skippers. And when I go out to look for butterflies in a disturbed area and I’m not finding very much, the sight of a few Peck’s Skippers can brighten my day and make me feel like my effort was worthwhile.

Have you gained a fondness for any particular species this summer? Let us know!

Posted on 16 de agosto de 2019, 01:42 PM by lltimms lltimms | 1 comentário | Deixar um comentário

13 de agosto de 2019

Can we get more than 56 species?

There are less than two weeks left in the 2019 Butterfly Blitz. We've collected so much wonderful data since June, but we've been stuck at the same number of species for a while now. Can we break that barrier?

First, a side note: you may notice that our project page says we're at 55 species. But, we're actually at 56 species. Last week few of us went out and we found a butterfly that is considered vulnerable in Ontario - the Black Dash (

Because it is a vulnerable species, the location of the observation is automatically obscured on iNaturalist. And, for variety of reasons, this means that the observation is not picked up by the Butterfly Blitz project. If you want to see the total count, including the location obscured records, you can check out this umbrella project:

(and now that we know how this works, next year we will set things up a bit differently!)

A few species that we haven't seen yet this year but that could be out there include:

  • Fritillaries other than Great Spangled Fritillary (e.g. Aphrodite, Silver-bordered, Meadow)
  • The species that like hackberries (American Snout, Hackberry Emperor, Tawny Emperor)
  • Coppers (e.g. American Copper, Bronze Copper)
  • Later season species (e.g. Common Buckeye, Fiery Skipper, Leonard's Skipper)

Some of these are somewhat rare species, but some good butterfly hunting might turn them up (if they're around). Are you up to the challenge?

Posted on 13 de agosto de 2019, 06:48 PM by lltimms lltimms | 4 comentários | Deixar um comentário

Observation of the week – August 3-9, 2019

It’s about time that we featured a Monarch as our observation of the week! This one comes to us from user @alisonforde:

The Monarch has now taken over as the most observed species of the blitz and has surpassed the Red Admiral by quite a bit. This large and recognizable species is beloved by many, and is the second most observed species on iNaturalist in North America (having been recently surpassed by the Mallard).

This particular Monarch is a male – which you can tell by the two thickened black spots on the veins of the hind wing, where male Monarchs store the chemicals called pheromones that they use to attract females.

You may not be used to thinking of butterflies as aggressive, but male butterflies can be quite territorial; they will fly up and chasing away any other butterfly (or sometimes any other flying insect) that comes into the airspace above a good habitat patch. In fact, the other day I watched a male Monarch in my garden chase off a Robin from ‘his’ milkweed patch – not once, but twice!

Most people are familiar with the remarkable migration made by Monarchs each year. Did you know that two of the people who helped to figure out the whole story of Monarch migration were biologists from Toronto? Fred and Norah Urquhart studied Monarchs for years, and were perhaps the first people to run an insect-based citizen science project with their Monarch tagging project.

You can learn more about Monarch migration and Fred and Norah’s story in this Nature of Things episode:

Posted on 13 de agosto de 2019, 12:48 PM by lltimms lltimms | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

07 de agosto de 2019

Wrap-up event planned for August 24th

Join us at Terra Cotta Conservation Area to celebrate the end of Credit Valley Conservation’s first summer-long Butterfly Blitz!

Where: Terra Cotta Conservation Area, Watershed Learning Centre
14452 Winston Churchill Blvd, Terra Cotta, ON L0P 1N0
When: August 24, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
RSVP: Please visit the CVC Events website to register for this event so that we know you're coming
(see Register Online link at bottom of the page)

We would like to thank everyone that contributed to Butterfly Blitz. Your observations helped expand our knowledge of the distribution of butterfly species in the Credit River Watershed.

At this event, Butterfly Blitz participants will gather to submit timed survey data sheets, hear an overview of the project results, discuss exciting field finds and marvel at some fantastic butterfly shots! Prizes will be awarded for the following categories: most species, rarest find, most observations and the lucky day prize.

The second half of the event will include a guided hike through the conservation area, with one last chance to find and submit butterfly observations for the 2019 Butterfly Blitz. There may even be a friendly competition between two hiking groups.

The general public is welcome to attend; admission to the park is free. Bring a reusable mug and/or water bottle. Light refreshments will be served.

Since the event is outdoors, remember to dress for the weather. Should the weather be unfavorable, be sure to check our social media and website for cancellation information or call 905-670-1615 ext. 221. If you have accessibility requirements, please notify Lindsey Jennings (, 905-670-1615 ext. 445) to arrange accommodations.

Posted on 07 de agosto de 2019, 04:01 PM by lltimms lltimms | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

06 de agosto de 2019

Observation of the week – July 27 to August 2, 2019

User @volunteerles brings us this week’s OOTW – a lovely Banded Hairstreak:

Banded Hairstreaks can be hard to see or catch when they’re in flight, as they zig and zag all over the place. But when they’re stopped to feed – especially on milkweed, a favourite nectar plant – they’re easier to get a good look at. That’s how Leslie (aka @volunteerles) happened to see this individual:

“My first banded hairstreak species sighting was made in the meadow on the Todd Barnes Side Trail of the Bruce Trail, near Limehouse. Just an iPhone was used for the photo, as this butterfly was kind enough to stay still, feeding on the milkweed flower for me.”

Like other hairstreaks, adult Banded Hairstreaks seem to spend most of their time up in forest canopies, coming down only one or two times per day to feed. For every hairstreak butterfly that you see at ground level, it is likely that there are many more around up high above your head.

Regarding the location of her sighting, Leslie would like to share that “This meadow is stewarded by the amazing work of the Toronto Bruce Trail Club Biodiversity Team. They have planted native plants to feed and host butterflies and other insects”. And if you feel like staying still, “There are even benches and chairs to stop and let the butterflies come to you.“

If you’re interested in learning more about the Toronto Bruce Trail Club and their Biodiversity Team, you can check out their website here:

And did you know that the Bruce Trail Conservancy also has an iNaturalist project? If you are ever out making observations along the trail, consider joining the project and adding to their work.

Posted on 06 de agosto de 2019, 12:34 PM by lltimms lltimms | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

29 de julho de 2019

Observation of the week – July 20-26, 2019

This week we’re highlighting the most commonly observed species of 2019 for our OOTW – the Red Admiral – seen here, in this lovely photo by user @marcjohnson:

The Red Admiral is a migrant butterfly. Unlike our resident species, it generally cannot* survive the winters here even as a sheltered egg or pupa. However, Red Admiral butterflies move up to our area each spring from more southern regions, taking advantage of the abundant habitat and food resources. The species goes through at least two generations while here, laying eggs on nettle plants that the caterpillars then munch up.

Some years there are not very many Red Admirals around and some years there are many – and this is definitely one year where there is no shortage of Red Admirals! There have been almost 1100 Red Admirals reported on iNaturalist from Ontario so far this year. Notably, this is higher than the number of Monarchs that have been reported, which is generally the number one reported species on iNaturalist.

In addition to the large numbers of adult butterflies, they seem to be breeding in larger numbers than usual, as noted in these observations of caterpillars:

We’ll have to wait till the end of the season to see how the numbers add up, and to see how 2019 compares to 2012 when the large numbers of Red Admirals was the subject of several news stories (e.g.

The Red Admiral may be a very common species this year, but don’t let that distract you from appreciating its beauty. I especially love the view it presents with its wings closed - with the grey-brown mottled hind wing and the striking pinky-red, blue, and white on its forewing.

Is there a common butterfly that you find beautiful? Let us know!

  • there is some evidence that some individuals can survive the winters here, especially in mild winters - but this is still probably more of the exception than the rule
Posted on 29 de julho de 2019, 02:20 PM by lltimms lltimms | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

24 de julho de 2019

We're over 50 species!

Good morning butterfly blitzers!

We passed the 50 species mark yesterday - as of this morning, we're at 53 species and 525 observations. This is way higher than the stats for this date last year - 121 observations of 33 species. Hip, hip, hooray!

You're all doing great work out there taking pictures of the butterflies you see. I love opening up my computer in the morning to see what you've been up to the day before. So, here's a big THANK YOU for all of your efforts so far.

If you haven't had a chance to get out as much as you'd like to, don't worry; there's still one month left in the project. In fact, Saturday looks like a good day to go out butterflying ...

Happy trails!

Posted on 24 de julho de 2019, 12:12 PM by lltimms lltimms | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário