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First Sighting, Nectar Plant & Rearing Surveys

Ever wonder what time of year to start looking for Red Admirals in Southeast Michigan? Or which Non-Native Nectar plant works best for Tiger Swallowtails? Soon the answers to these questions (and many more) will be answered through the collective knowledge of the Southeast Michigan Butterfly Association members and the collective knowledge of Butterfly Enthusiasts across the region!

There are 3 separate surveys you can take


  1. First sighting: this survey will track the date and location of the first sighting for many local butterfly species.

  2. Nectar plant: this survey will track estimated monthly counts of the various butterflies you spotted in your home gardens or at local parks/preserves and the nectar plants (or other nutrient sources) you observed them visiting.

  3. Rearing: this survey has been in place for the last few years, but it received an upgrade in 2014 allowing members to submit rearing data as often as they like throughout the season with real-time feedback at meetings.


Click below to start the survey.

SEMBA members who complete 10 of the First Sighting Surveys, or 5 of the Monthly Nectar Plant Surveys will receive an individualized report at the October meeting. This new survey process is a great opportunity to monitor declining butterfly populations, define seasonal migration patterns, track nectar plant effectiveness and provide other useful information to our association, the community and other environmental research organizations.


Paper copies will also be available at each monthly meeting.


Individualized reports may also be requested.

If you have questions, please contact Brendon Weil at

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