Butterfly Count Down

Pipevine Swallowtail

Pipevine Swallowtail

The PGT Butterfly walk on Saturday was fun but the total number of butterflies seen was way down. The weather was perfect and we did see 26 different species but none were seen in large numbers like you would expect.
The reason for the low count is not clear. The nectar plants that butterflies feed on are abundant this year; the prairies here are filled with flowers.
Could it be the lingering effect of the severe drought a couple years ago be keeping the numbers down? Could the heavy rainfall or cool weather this year be harming them? Other thoughts?
Here is the census from this year:
Black Swallowtail 2
Question Mark 2
Pipevine Swallowtail 15
Snowberry Clearwing 1
Northern Broken-dash 2
Pearl Crescent 6
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 4
Red Admiral 3
Cabbage White 5
Least Skipper 2
Silver-spotted Skipper 5
Great Spangled Fritillary 26
Common Buckeye 3
Horace’s Duskywing 1
Giant Swallowtail 1
Unknown Grass Skipper 4
Unknown Duskywing 1
American Lady 1
Geometrid Moth 1
Summer Azure 1
Hummingbird Clearwing 1
Monarch 3
Little Yellow 1
American Snout 1
Orange Sulphur 1
Eastern Tailed-Blue 1
Attached is a picture of a Pipeline Swallowtail on Monarda.

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