Butterflies at the Blue Ridge Center – July Report
On July 17, a total of 12 people found 17 different butterfly species on a very hot & humid Butterfly Walk at the Blue Ridge Center. Most of the two-hour walk was spent on the organic farm which was, by far, the most productive spot we visited. The reason for this was that with the exception of some thistles, little was flowering in the fields. However, it looks like a lot of the late summer flowers should be blooming in time to make the Blue Ridge Center a great place to visit for our Annual Butterfly Count on Saturday, August 7.
While there were a lot of butterflies, there wasn’t as much variety in species as expected. The highlight of the walk was an AMERICAN SNOUT that landed and briefly perched on one of the participants. Interestingly enough a HACKBERRY EMPEROR, as they are prone to do, landed on the same individual a little while later and wouldn’t leave.
Most of the butterflies we saw were CLOUDED SULPHURS and SULPHURS, though there were also a fair number of EASTERN TIGER SWALLOWTAILS, including several dark morph female, EASTERN TIGER SWALLOWTAILS. We also saw Spicebush Swallowtail, Cabbage White, Eastern-tailed Blue, Variegated Fritillary, Great Spangled Fritillary, Pearl Crescent, Silver-spotted Skipper, Horace’s Duskywing, Least Skipper, Peck’s Skipper, Little Glassywing, and Dun Skipper.
Three weeks ago during the regular monthly bird walk on June 26, when a lot more was blooming, we had more diversity and in addition to the above butterflies also saw Pipevine Swallowtail, Zebra Swallowtail, Meadow Fritillary, Red-spotted Purple, Northern Pearly-eye, and Monarch butterflies.
For more information about the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, one of Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s partners and open to the public every day of the year, visit www.brces.org.
To sign up for the Annual Butterfly Count visit https://loudounwildlife.org/Butterfly_Count.htm.