Image Source: Flickr. By: TexasEagle.

86 Cabbage Butterflies, 5 Spring Azures, 4 Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, 1 Monarch, and at least 8 other unidentifiable species. Those are our totals for our part in the annual North American Butterfly Association Butterfly Counts program (thus far).

Every year, butterfly counts are taken throughout Canada, the US, and Mexico (and most likely other countries around the world—but this isn’t about them). These counts allow regular people to get involved with the scientific process and learn more about the environment around them.

To take part in the butterfly count, all you really need is a pair of binoculars and a field guide. However, it can get a bit more complicated than that. If you’ve ever watched a butterfly, you know they don’t sit still for very long, so it can be hard to keep track of them or their markings even with binoculars. In this case, having a camera on hand can be a big advantage. It’s also hard to keep track of how many there are if they’re all flying together in a group; so, in that situation, having several others help you with the count is also a plus.

To find out more about the butterfly count and if there are any events happening in your area, check out this site.