Flight of the Fender’s Blue

Fender’s blue has a 1 inch wingspan. The color of upper wings differentiates males (bright blue) and females (copper to brown). The undersides of the wings of both are gray-tan with black spots surrounded by a white border.


Native nectar plants, like the dwarf checkermallow shown here, are critical food sources for adult Fender’s blue butterflies

IAE is grateful for funding provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and assistance from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.  Monitoring all 90+ Fender’s blue sites during the 4-6 week flight season would not be possible without our dedicated team of surveyors, including Lee Bennion, Greg Fitzpatrick, Paul Hammond, Gary Pearson, Dana Ross, and Duncan Thomas.  IAE staff implementing surveys this year included Monika Lapinski and the author.  We are also grateful to all public (US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers), conservation (Greenbelt Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy) and private landowners who support the Fender’s blue butterfly survey process.  Our continued appreciation also goes to Tyler Hicks for his collaboration on data analysis.

Kincaid's lupine is the preferred host plant for Fender's blue butterfly

With a short flight season and often inclement weather in the western Oregon spring, monitoring requires a team of surveyors, including IAE technician Monika Lapinski

The author and IAE Assistant Executive Director Carolyn Menke monitoring habitat