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Photo of the author, Neil Bjorklund

The Project

Butterflies of Oregon is both an online guide to Oregon's butterfly species and a record of my endeavor to photograph all of Oregon's regularly occurring and breeding described butterfly species inside the borders of the state.  As I continue to pursue images of those remaining species that have as yet eluded me and my camera, I plan to use the website, the information I’ve collected, and the stories about the butterflies and the photos to educate interested folks about native butterflies in Oregon, their habitats, their ecology and their conservation.  Public presentations, and educational publications are likely to come with time.  Check back here for updates or sign up to be notified of new Blog entries.

The Photos

All of the photographs of live butterflies in this website were taken by myself, Neil Bjorklund, of wild, un-manipulated butterflies, within the borders of Oregon.  These photos are the best images sifted from my library of more than 10,000 photos of butterflies in Oregon (as of fall 2023).   Considering all the photos that weren't high enough quality to keep, it’s safe to say I’ve taken something like 12,000-15,000 photos of butterflies in Oregon to produce this set of about 300!

The images of pinned butterflies from the Oregon State Arthropod Collection were taken by me and by Dana Ross, lepidopterist extraordinaire, with support from Paul Hammond who selected the specimens for us.  Thank you, Dana and Paul!

I took the live butterfly images primarily in the years 2002-2006 and 2014-2023, so over about 13 years (as of 2023). I have experimented with a variety of cameras and lenses over the years. I began the switch to digital photography in 2003 with my beloved Nikon CoolPix E995.  The lion’s share of the photos were taken with these four digital set-ups:

  • FujiFilm X-T1/X-T3/X-T4 with a Fuji 80 mm F2.8 Macro Lens

  • Sony RX10 Mark IV

  • Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

  • Nikon CoolPix E995

The Photographer

I am an Oregon boy through and through, born and raised in SW Portland. The earliest I can remember attempting butterfly photos was on a family vacation in California in about 1968, and my images of Pipevine Swallowtails along the side of  Highway 99 taken with my little plastic camera didn't come out very well.  Eight years later (1976) I got my first "real" camera - a spiffy Nikormat FT3 SLR!  With that camera I took my first decent photograph of a butterfly in Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1979—a Common Buckeye on the shore of Green Bay. Click the "More"button below to see that photo and read more history. 

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