Journal archives for June 2019

June 28, 2019

Observation of the week – June 22-28, 2019

Our first observation of the week is a big one – literally! This Eastern Giant Swallowtail ( was seen by user @kbann in her backyard in Erin Township.

The Eastern Giant Swallowtail is the largest butterfly species in Canada. Karen (aka @kbann) says she noticed the butterfly out of the corner of her eye as it was flying around her yard and thought at first that it was a black swallowtail, but really big – “the size of a small bird”. She wanted to get a picture to add to our Butterfly Blitz project, so began to chase the butterfly around.

Anyone who’s ever tried to get a picture of swallowtail knows that they don’t often sit still, and that they have an annoying habit of swooping up over a tree just as you catch up to them. Karen’s yard includes a mix of native trees, shrubs and pollinator plants alongside traditional garden perennials, and the swallowtail proceeded to visit almost all of them in quick succession – never stopping long enough for Karen to get a good shot.

But persistence paid off. Karen says: “I chased it into a patch of wildflowers and long grass, where it slowed down a bit”. She was then able to get a bunch of pictures, including one with its wings open.

Eastern Giant Swallowtails are uncommon in the Credit River Watershed, which is at the northern edge of its range and contains few of the host plants its larvae need – hop trees and prickly ash. However, there is some evidence that this species is becoming more common in northern areas. Perhaps sightings of this giant beauty will become a more frequent event.

Here are two short posts with more information about the Eastern Giant Swallowtail in our area:

Posted on June 28, 2019 21:36 by lltimms lltimms | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 24, 2019

The 2019 CVC Butterfly Blitz is underway!

Hello butterfly blitzers!

We had a wonderful kick off event at Riverwood on Saturday, and the blitz is officially on. Since Saturday we’ve had 21 observations made of 16 different species – way to go!

Whether you were able to join us on Saturday or not, we are looking forward to seeing your observations throughout the summer.

You might notice that the stats for the Butterfly Blitz project include observations made as early as April 15th of this year. We have used that starting date because we wanted to capture as much of the full butterfly season in our data as possible. But rest assured, when it comes to counting observations to tally numbers for prizes and awards at the end of the summer, we will only use data from June 22nd – August 24th.

Did someone say prizes? Yes – we will be handing out prizes for several different categories at our wrap up event on August 24th. This will include prizes for the participant with the most observations, the most species, the rarest species, and others. There will also be a lucky day prize – we will choose a day between June 22nd and August 24th, and anyone who makes an observation on that day will be entered into a draw for that prize. Stay tuned for more details on our wrap up event as the summer progresses.

In the meantime, there are a few ways you can help build our butterfly blitz community online. If you see an observation with picture that you really love or a find that you think is really neat, give it a ‘fave’ (top right, under the map) or leave a comment to let the observer know. If you have questions about how someone identified a species, leave a comment to ask your question and we’ll do our best to answer. And most importantly, get outside and start taking butterfly pictures!

Thanks, and happy butterflying!

Posted on June 24, 2019 13:00 by lltimms lltimms | 0 comments | Leave a comment