Contact

Jen Humphrey
KU Natural History Museum
785-864-2344

Public invited to view emerging butterflies at KU Field Station

Wed, 06/04/2014

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas scientists welcome the public to an event this week, when thousands of Emperor Hackberry butterflies are expected to emerge at the Fitch Natural History Reservation, northeast of Lawrence Municipal Airport.

From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, June 6, researchers with the KU Natural History Museum and Kansas Biological Survey will be on hand to offer information and guidance to visitors.

Ornithologist Mark Robbins expects to see thousands of the butterflies emerging at the property, which is part of the KU Field Station and managed by the Biological Survey. He noted that the numbers of butterflies will be fewer than in 2012, when another event at the Field Station called attention to the insects. In part, this may be attributed to the harsh winter of the past year and to bird migration.

“It was amazing during the past two weeks to watch hundreds of birds (the largest numbers were Cedar Waxwings) devour the caterpillars,” Robbins said.  “Birds that normally are not found in woodlands, such as Dickcissels and Eastern Kingbirds, were not only in the tree crowns but were on the ground eating the caterpillars. Thus, both the resident birds as well as migrants headed to Canada to breed had a major impact on the number of butterflies that will emerge. As they say, timing is everything.”

Although their numbers will be down, Robbins said that visitors will still see clouds of the insects throughout the area. In the event of a thunderstorm, the event will be canceled.

Visitors should be prepared for wooded hiking conditions: Wear loose-fitting clothing, bring water and use insect repellant. The Fitch Reservation and the rest of the Field Station have very limited parking; carpooling to the site is encouraged. Visitors may park at the McColl Reserve lot across from the entrance to the Fitch Reservation. Directions to the site are available at http://kufs.ku.edu/about/directions/ Visitors are also asked to stay on established trails.

For those who cannot attend the event, the KU Field Station welcomes the public any day at the Fitch Reservation and any part of its five-mile public trail system from dawn to dusk.



KU in the news
"Hot diggety dog!" These were the words of KU alumnus Ronald Evans as he became the first Jayhawk in space. Evans served as the command module pilot of Apollo 17 in 1972, which was NASA's last mission to the Moon. Tags: KU Aerospace Engineering #KUtbt #KUleaders NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Inside KU: Protein research, biodiesel fuel, and KU's Bioscience & Technology Business Center "Inside KU" takes a look at how the expanded Bioscience & Technology Business Center (http://bit.ly/1zzPvrw) brings a number of beneficial services to small start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between. Also: A KU startup at the BTBC, KanPro, is producing proteins for research in medicine, biotechnology, and life sciences (See http://bit.ly/1DSY3s9). KU Innovation and Collaboration focuses on turning the university’s research into industry (See http://bit.ly/ZTOKZF). The "Feedstock to Tailpipe Initiative" grows algae to provide a sustainable source for biodiesel fuel (See http://bit.ly/1oPRovz). Undergraduate Research Awards allow students to explore their fields deeper (See http://bit.ly/KUcugr). **The Time Warner Cable Sports Network's "Inside KU" is hosted by Jeannie Hodes.**


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
$260.5 million in externally funded research expenditures
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times