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Join the hunt: Butterfly count set for July 20

by Judy Hughes, communications and marketing last modified Jul 09, 2013 12:38 PM

Adults and children can spend a day in the country and benefit science by taking part in a national butterfly census, Saturday, July 20.

Local counting will take place in Oldham County in a designated section of the University of Louisville’s Horner Wildlife Sanctuary.

The count is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. but volunteers do not have to stay the entire time.

UofL biology professor emeritus Charles Covell and other butterfly specialists will teach people how to identify the butterflies they see. Count leaders will supply nets but volunteers can use cameras, binoculars and notebooks to gather information. Last year’s local count yielded 36 species and 765 individual butterflies.

Covell suggests that participants wear hats, hiking shoes, long pants and long-sleeved shirts and bring water, lunch and insect repellent.

Volunteer counters should meet at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Sugarbabe Antiques in Brownsboro, about one mile northwest of Exit 14 off Interstate 71 and about 20 miles north of Louisville.

If it rains heavily, the count will be postponed until the same time Sunday, July 21, if that day’s weather is clear.

A 2004 UofL retiree, Covell now is the curator for the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera & Biodiversity in Gainesville, Fla. He organized the Society of Kentucky Lepidopterists for the study of butterflies and moths in 1974 and wrote “Butterflies and Moths of Kentucky” and the 1984 Peterson “Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America.”

The annual local count is in its 37th year.

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