2013 Maryland Butterfly Big Year

Give or take, Maryland is home to about 150 species of butterflies and skippers.  Sounds like a pretty decent-sized list, right?  But take away the species that have been extirpated from their current range in the state (like Regal Fritillary), those who are very restricted to extremely rare habitats (Mulberry Wing, Bog Copper), and the many of the 150 that are accidental, wanderers, or strays from their normal range, and you chop into that 150 pretty substantially.

Nevertheless, a couple of us decided to launch Butterfly Big Years in 2013 to log 100 or more species in Maryland.  At the time, we believed — and were proven correct in the assumption — that this was just at the edges of do-able .  As it wasm it took some fancy footwork working remote corners of the state, spending as much time as possible in the field (no easy feat for working civil servants!), and scouring databases and reference works for more clues about when and where to find difficult species.

It also took a lot of teamwork, *and* a lot of friendly competition!  And the help and advice of many butterfliers in the mid-Atlantic.

Each of us hit the mark:  Tom with 102, me with 105.  Far as we know, this the is MD Butterfly Big Year Record, and as of 2018, it still stands.  We think we might try again for 110 once we retire!

Rick’s 2013 big year sightings

Tom’s 2013 big year sightings

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