Butterflies for Beginners

Butterflies for Beginners

Sat, April 27
Explore the butterflies of Muddy Hollow from swallowtails to checkerspots and blues. Observe a variety of species and behaviors!

In this introduction to butterflies you’ll meet 8 -12 species from different families (Swallowtails, Brushfoots, Gossamer Wings, Pierids, and Skippers) and have a chance to observe behaviors like nectaring, puddling, and possibly mating or egg laying.

You’ll learn host plants and nectar plants for various species, and which have adapted to non-native host plants. Find out the best places in Marin to go to see less common butterflies, like our California state butterfly, the California Dogface.

This class is excellent preparation for the Marin Butterfly Count in June which is the butterfly community’s equivalent to the Christmas Bird Count. At the end of the day you’ll be ready to continue the fascinating study of butterflies on your own.

Note: This is NOT a collecting class. Collecting butterflies is not permitted at Point Reyes National Seashore. All butterflies we visit with are returned to their habitat unharmed.

Wendy Dreskin has been teaching the popular class Meandering in Marin at College of Marin since 1998 and Point Reyes Field Seminars since 2005. In recognition of her work inspiring both children and adults, she was awarded the Terwilliger Environmental Award and inducted into the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame.

Photo Credit: William Dreskin


-We will be meeting at the Muddy Hollow Trailhead parking lot

– Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to check in

– Refunds available for all classes 7 days in advance of the start date, after 7 days and before 2 days, participants can credit their class for a future date. All requests before 48 hours in advance will be declined. For COVID cancellation policy, see below.

– Please follow the parking instructions for the facility used that day

– Please provide an email you check regularly for updates and reminders about your class

– Registration is required online prior to the event in order to maintain class sizes

– Sales end 48 hours before the start date.

– Waitlists are available when the class sells out

What to Bring

Binoculars (highly recommended, close focus a plus)

Day Pack


Warm Variable Weather Clothing

Hiking Shoes

Water Bottle

Notebook and Pen/Field Journal

Eventbrite Confirmation Email

Camera (Optional)

About the PRNSA Field Institute

The PRNSA Field Institute offers hands-on environmental education classes throughout the year that foster enjoyment of Point Reyes National Seashore. Our classes are led by expert instructors, who take you out of your everyday life and into the natural world. We host a variety of classes about the arts and sciences and have something for everyone. You can reach the Field Institute at (415) 663-1200 x304 or by email at fieldinstitute@ptreyes.org.

Interested in becoming a member of PRNSA? Click Here!

Interested in becoming a PRNSA Field Institute volunteer facilitator, or are you an outdoor educator or artist who would like to teach a PRNSA Field Institute class? Send an Email!

For any questions, please email us at fieldinstitute@ptreyes.org.

COVID-19 Field Institute Guidelines

Please respect the following COVID-19 procedures:

· Perform a health self-check before coming to class using the CDC Symptoms of Coronavirus as a guide

· Do not attend class if you are experiencing COVID symptoms, know that you have had a close exposure, or are suffering from any flu-like or respiratory illness

· Contact the Field Institute if you will not be able to attend due to COVID. You may be eligible to receive a full or partial refund

· Participants exhibiting signs of respiratory illness may be asked to leave class

· Masks are optional at your discretion

· Please bring your own food and water

All guidelines are subject to change pursuant to State or County Health order updates.

Thank you for your cooperation in following these guidelines to help keep everyone safe.