Invasion of the California Tortoiseshells

How to follow up with the first Mulberry Wing Skipper photographed in Nebraska? Colin Croft was kind enough to share his experience from July 11. With a relatively milder day forecast for Monday July 11th, I headed off north into SiouxCounty from Scottsbluff/Gering to check up on my little quarter section of pasture about15 milesContinue reading “Invasion of the California Tortoiseshells”

Nebraska’s Rarest Butterfly – Mulberry Wing Skipper Photographed

Back in 2001 I was prowling Boone County’s back roads looking for county records. I had already had some success in Nance County along the Loup River south of Fullerton but Boone County was proving to be more difficult. Then I happened upon a marsh on Beaver Valley Road west of Petersburg. It was aContinue reading “Nebraska’s Rarest Butterfly – Mulberry Wing Skipper Photographed”

Niobrara Valley Preserve 2022 Butterfly Count

On July 6 seven intrepid observers set out on the Niobrara Valley Preserve’s 34th annual butterfly count. Conditions were incredibly dry (perhaps accounting for the lower overall numbers observed) but we were able to record 28 species and 161 individual butterflies. These totals fell roughly in line with averages for the last 10 years (26.8Continue reading “Niobrara Valley Preserve 2022 Butterfly Count”

Western Nebraska: Good for family & butterflies

By Jonathan Nikkila Putting to use all the tips, tricks and ID help Neil Dankert has given me over the years, I spent a day during our family vacation to the Pine Ridge last week to hunt for Western Nebraska butterfly species. My family was staying at Ft. Robinson State Park, a great place forContinue reading “Western Nebraska: Good for family & butterflies”

Godspeed AEJZ927 et al

Thursday afternoon (9/16) we went looking for Monarch butterflies to tag during their migration to Mexico. Waiting for them to find our asters in the yard had not proven to be a winning strategy so we went to a patch of alfalfa where they had been numerous in the past. The weather was warm enoughContinue reading “Godspeed AEJZ927 et al”

Alfalfa Rules/Six New County Records

This past weekend Jennifer, I and the dog made a road trip to fill in a few gaps in the maps while the weather was still nice. We traveled to the Norfolk area with the number one goal of finding a Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice) in Boone County, the lone remaining county where it hadContinue reading “Alfalfa Rules/Six New County Records”

Painted Crescents by the Dozens!

This past Saturday (August 14) Jon Nikkila and I drove the back roads of the loess hills south of North Platte in search of Baird’s Swallowtails. We found none which, unless there is a late discovery makes this the second consecutive year without a Baird’s sighting. During our travels we decided to check out WapitiContinue reading “Painted Crescents by the Dozens!”

Two More County Records

Monday, after a weekend visit to Keller State Recreation Area northeast of Ainsworth, Pat and Diane Miller, Jen and I road tripped to Boyd County to check out the local butterfly fauna. We made our way to Hull Lake SWMA, near a highway but still off the beaten path. Butterflies were not abundant but weContinue reading “Two More County Records”

2021 Niobrara Valley Preserve Butterfly Count

On July 1 eight intrepid observers took advantage of perfect weather to participate in the Niobrara Valley Preserve’s annual butterfly count. They found 254 total butterflies belonging to 36 species. The Great Spangled Fritillary was the most common butterfly with 65 tallied. Four Nebraska Natural Heritage Program Tier 1 (globally most at risk of extinction)Continue reading “2021 Niobrara Valley Preserve Butterfly Count”

New record for Saline County: Peck’s Skipper – Polites peckius

Saturday (May 22) Jen and I went to Lincoln to buy more plants (Statewide Arboretum and Midwest Natives). Although the weather was not ideal (mostly cloudy with a stiff wind out of the south) for butterfly hunting we decided to do a little exploring and take a road less traveled (not Interstate 80) home. DrivingContinue reading “New record for Saline County: Peck’s Skipper – Polites peckius”