Boise Front Fourth of July Butterfly Count

Join us for the 25th Annual Boise Front 4th of July Butterfly Count on July 12, 2015! We typically see 30-60 different species of butterfly (almost 1/3 of the number of species in Idaho). The species we see in any given year can vary dramatically depending on temperatures and precipitation in the weeks before each count.

The fun starts with a free butterfly-identification workshop on July 11. Meet at the Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History (basement of Boone Hall on the campus of The College of Idaho in Caldwell) at 11:45. Bring your lunch, and expect to finish ~2:30.

The butterfly count will be on July 12. Meet at 8:30 am in the parking lot of the 17th and State Marketplace in Boise (corner of 17th and State Street, across the street from the Albertson’s parking lot) for cinnamon rolls, OJ, and car-pooling. The actual counting will be at Military Reserve, Bogus Basin Road and Chairlift, and Mores Mountain. Come prepared for a day of hiking. Bring plenty of liquid, sunscreen, and lunch, and $4.00 per person for registration. Butterfly nets are optional. Expect to finish about 6 pm.

You’re welcome to participate in the count, the training, or both. Don’t worry if you don’t know anything about butterfly identification! Extra eyes to find butterflies are always useful, and people who know how to identify butterflies will be eager to teach. Identification booklets will also be available.

If you have questions or plan to come, please contact Paul Castrovillo (email:, or leave a message at 208-332-8627. This will help Paul to know how many cinnamon rolls to bring! 

The list of butterflies identified during each year's Boise Front count is submitted to the North American Butterfly Association, which compiles results from butterfly counts throughout North America (including Canada and Mexico) and prints reports every year. Field notes and completed tallies from the Boise Front count are placed on file at the Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History at The College of Idaho, Caldwell, ID. Most of the butterflies are identified without being captured or are released after they are identified. Any specimens collected during the Boise Front Count are placed in the collection at the Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History.