Want to learn to identify the butterfly species found at Mason Farm? Come to one of our workshops, check out our Guide to the Common Species of Mason Farm, or visit our iNaturalist guide, Mason Farm Butterflies. You can also view more information at our Encyclopedia of Life collection.
Recommended Field Guide: Butterflies of the Carolinas Field Guide by Jaret Daniels. For more great photos and information on NC butterflies, check out Will Cook’s Carolina Nature website and Jeff Pippen’s North Carolina Butterflies page.
To observe butterflies for this project, visit Mason Farm Biological Reserve in Chapel Hill. The best time to see butterflies is late morning to early afternoon between March and October. Most butterflies can be identified with the naked eye.
Print this checklist to keep track of your observations. Before you begin, record the date, time, temperature, and estimated percent cloud cover. Walk the loop around the preserve at a steady pace. Record all butterflies seen using hash marks next to each species name. When you finish, record the time. Leave the checklist in the brochure box at the trailhead, or take it home and record your sightings in our online form.
Did you take pictures of any butterflies on your walk? Upload them to our iNaturalist project. Sign up or log in to track your observations. If you’re not sure what species of butterfly it is, other iNaturalist users can help you identify it by adding their comments to your photo.
Don’t want to use the checklist? Download the Unified Butterfly Recorder app to your iPhone or Android device to record your observations. This app automatically records the time and exact location of each sighting when you record it. At the end of your walk, export a list of the species you saw and email it to us at masonfarmbutterflies[at]gmail[dot]com. Instructions on using the app can be found here.
Email Kati or Laura at masonfarmbutterflies[at]gmail[dot]com if you have any questions. Thank you for your contribution!