Annual Butterfly Count
Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy has coordinated the Annual Loudoun Butterfly count since 1997. The count takes place in early August, which is the peak time for butterflies in our area. We report our data to the North American Butterfly Association, which tracks butterfly populations.
As is true with other wildlife, the population numbers and locations of butterflies give great insights into habitat health and diversity. Butterflies need many kinds of plants to develop and survive. Many species will visit areas that are weedy and wild and have lots of native plants. A new lawn or an area that has been sprayed with pesticides will see few or no species.
The annual Loudoun Wildlife count pairs beginners with experts and sends teams to different parts of the county. Participants can go out for half a day or all day. If you have a copy of the Field Guide to the Butterflies of Loudoun County, bring that with you. You may also want to bring Bob Blakney’s 2015 book, Northern Virginia Butterflies and Skippers, or his 2020 update, Butterflies of the Mid Atlantic. And don’t forget the Loudoun Butterfly Checklist.
Count Data and Reports
If you would like to know which species have been seen during previous years, you can view butterfly count data and reports.
More Information About Butterflies
The Xerces Society website provides articles and programs of interest, as well as publications.
The North American Butterfly Association also has plenty of useful information and links.
Butterfly Gardens for Northern Virginia provides information on attracting butterflies with plants native to our area.
Butterfliesandmoths.org is a good site for butterfly species information in North America.
The 2024 butterfly count will take place on Saturday, August 3. Registration will open approximately two months in advance.