University of Louisville biology professor emeritus Charles Covell and other butterfly specialists will lead the annual local count for the national butterfly census. Children and adults are welcome to join the cause in the woods and fields of UofL’s Horner Wildlife Sanctuary.

Count leaders will teach people how to identify the butterflies they see. Covell will supply nets but volunteers also can use cameras, notebooks and binoculars to gather information.

The count will be done in a defined area from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., although volunteers are not required to stay the entire time. Covell suggests that participants wear hats, hiking shoes, long pants and long-sleeved shirts and bring water, lunch and insect repellent.

Volunteer counters of all ages should meet at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Sugar Babe Antiques, 7511 Highway 329, in Crestwood, about one mile northwest of Interstate 71’s Exit 14 and about 20 miles north of Louisville.

If it rains heavily, the count will be postponed until the same time Sunday, July 12, if that day’s weather is clear.

Although Covell retired from UofL in 2004, he has continued to lead the annual local effort for nearly four decades. He now works as a curator for the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera & Biodiversity in Gainesville, Fla.

Covell organized the Society of Kentucky Lepidopterists for the study of butterflies and moths in 1974. He wrote Butterflies and Moths of Kentucky and the 1984 Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America.

For more information, contact Covell at 352-336-0127 or

Judy Hughes
Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.