First Annual Butterfly Count

  • Saturday, July 25, 2015
  • 10:00 AM
  • Final Attack Trail, Antietam National Battlefiled, MD
  • 13


Registration is closed
What: First Annual Butterfly Count

Where: Final Attack Trail, Antietam National Battlefield

When: Saturday, July 25, 2015

Time: 10:00 a.m.

Cost: Free

Trip Leader: Dave Kaplan 
Co-Leader: Sandy Sagalkin


The Potomac Valley Audubon Society will sponsor the first Annual Butterfly Count along the Final Attack Trail on the Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, MD on Saturday, July 25.

The count is being cosponsored by the Washington County Bird Club.

Dave Kaplan, local butterfly expert, will lead the butterfly count.  It will be free and open to anyone with an interest, regardless of his or her butterfly expertise. This will be a perfect family activity, and children, accompanied by adults, are encouraged to attend.

Registration is required and limited to 20. 

As butterflies do not fly in the rain and heavy overcast can keep them down, participants should check the PVAS website for postponements if bad weather is forecast.  If the count is postponed, a notice will be placed on the website by 9 p.m. on the day before the count.

If the count is postponed, we will try to reschedule on August 1.  August 8 is a further backup date.

The Final Attack Trail is in the area where the Union Army made its final advance to drive the Confederate Army from Maryland on September 17, 1862, only to be turned back by A.P. Hill’s final Confederate counterattack.

It is also the site of an extensive effort by the Antietam National Battlefield to restore and preserve native grasslands on the Otto Farm fields in the Battlefield's southwest corner.  The park has recently been the recipient of a pollinator grant from the National Park Service, which will be used to add native wildflowers to the existing stands of native warm season grasses at the farm.

The butterfly count, along with data on birdlife and other wildlife, will be used in documenting the value of the project at the Otto Farm.  PVAS has been active in supporting the project and assisting park personnel in monitoring bird life in the area for the last two years.

Participants should plan to meet count leader Dave Kaplan at the Burnside Bridge at 10 a.m. Sandy Sagalkin will be the co-leader and will help identify bird life during the count. 

To get to the Burnside Bridge parking area from Sharpsburg, head northeast towards Boonsboro. Take the first right turn after leaving Sharpsburg onto Rodman Avenue, which takes you into the battlefield. Turn left at the “T” and follow the road up the hill to the parking area.

The count will last about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, and cover mostly level terrain. The trail is about 2 miles in length.

Participants should wear sturdy footwear, dress appropriately for the prevailing weather conditions, and bring along water, a broad-brimmed hat, and insect repellent. PVAS has a limited supply of loaner binoculars for those who do not have their own.

For more information, contact Mr. Dave Kaplan at or or Mr. Sagalkin at or 240-291-6465.

           © 2016 Potomac Valley Audubon Society

              P.O. Box 578 • Shepherdstown, West Virginia 25443
              phone // 304-676-3397

Yankauer Nature Preserve (Berkeley County)
Eidolon Nature Preserve (Morgan County)
Stauffer's Marsh (Berkeley County)
Cool Spring Nature Preserve (Jefferson County)

Kristin Alexander, Executive Director //   304-676-3397

Katelyn "KC" Walters, Conservation and Land Manager // 304-283-7319

Krista Hawley, Adult Program Coordinator
// 703-303-1026

Amy Moore, Cool Spring Preserve Manager and Naturalist // 240-818-4714
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