Yesterday marked the 42nd Annual North American Butterfly Association’s Butterfly Count at the GTM Research Reserve, which ended with a surprising twist!

Scientists have discovered that butterflies signify a healthy ecosystem. NABA, consisting of people in Canada, United States and Mexico interested in butterflies, conducts long-term monitoring of butterfly populations. One of the goals of the group is to bring awareness to butterflies and to provide data useful for scientific monitoring. GTM volunteers participated, along with many other groups around North America, in a one-day census of all butterflies observed within a 15-mile counting area.

During yesterday’s monitoring event, a great blue heron was spotted with fishing line around one wing and both legs. GTM members Christopher Fox and Mike Pogue managed to remove the line from the entangled bird, resulting in a happy ending!

Here are some pictures of the butterflies and of the great blue heron rescue!