I have been doing butterfly surveys for the past eight years–mostly informally. I do report the results of some of them to the Iowa Butterfly Survey Network, which is associated with Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University.
I have been seeing numbers that are larger than any year I have surveyed so far. There are record numbers of Colias species, the orange and clouded sulfurs.
Today I did a survey on our property and saw very large numbers of monarchs. Specifically, I counted 74 monarchs in 45 minutes, but that is a very conservative number. There were several places where the numbers flying around the small black walnut and mulberry trees were too high to count.
I am also seeing higher numbers of other butterflies this year. I have not seen as many common buckeyes as I have seen this year–they are really thick. Little yellows are back in Iowa after being gone (for the most part) for two years. I also think I am seeing the start of a bloom of painted ladies–I am seeing small numbers of them and expect to see high numbers of them before the summer is out.