Butterfly Migration Update: October 7, 2005
From the Migration Trail
Spectacular sightings were witnessed in Texas this week, as masses of Mexico-bound
monarchs crossed that state. In total, almost 200 people reported southbound
monarchs this week from points across the map. Here are some of this week’s
in San Angelo, TX, astonished Susan Gober on Sunday. "When we stepped
out into the backyard the monarchs would take flight. There were so
many flying up that the sound of the fluttering wings was louder than
you might think a butterfly flap to be! The children were thrilled to
see so many!"
"Monarchs were everywhere on Saturday," said Donna Kelly of
South Elementary in Midland, TX. "Several locations within a 30-mile
radius reported hundreds, and a pecan orchard about 30 miles from town
had 20,000 roosting."
A student at Eldorado Middle School brought in a videotape of monarchs
roosting in her aunt's trees. "Beautiful!" said teacher Katrina
in Sweetwater, Texas
Courtesy of Mike Bessire
the north and east of Texas, monarchs kept coming:
counted 22 monarchs in 25 minutes," wrote St. Paul Elementary students
from Arkansas. "My teacher, Mrs. Anita Lawrence of the 6th grade,
has given us the wonderful opportunity to see these cool butterflies,"
added one student. "They were every where," said another.
is a FIRST!" exclaimed teacher Chatty Wight of Rabun County Elementary.
Her 5th grade student "saw 30 monarchs roosting in her trees"
in Long Creek, SC. Notice how few monarchs are reported from that region
and you'll understand the excitement.
Mexico, monarchs were feeding in flower beds in New York City. "At
first it was just exciting because the kids learn about the butterfly
life cycle," said teacher Susan Stein. Then she realized the monarchs
were on their way to Mexico for the winter.
love to watch the migrating monarchs!" said Tisdale Elementary
School students nearby in Ramsey, NJ. Students saw several while playing
on the playground at recess. "We are very excited and are keeping
a watchful eye for monarchs."
Texas Flyways: The Highways Monarchs Travel to Mexico
As millions upon millions of monarchs fly down from the north, they will
funnel through Texas and beyond. Texas is the only U.S. state that all monarchs
must cross. In Texas, the migration narrows and becomes more concentrated
before it enters Mexico. The monarchs seem to travel on two distinct flyways,
the "Central Flyway" and the "Coastal Flyway." They
seem to arrive at different times in each flyway, too. First, a pulse travels
down the Central Flyway. About two weeks later, a second pulse moves along
the Coastal Flyway.
"they're coming down the heart of the Central Flyway," explained
Mike Quinn, of Texas Monarch Watch. "The Central Flyway may originate
in the upper Midwest."
well the animated maps support Mike Quinn's theory! It makes sense that
monarchs from the Midwest would reach Texas quickly. They do not have
to fly as far as butterflies from the east must travel.
watch what happens next. Will our maps show monarchs on the Coastal
a México! Las primeras monarcas han cruzado la frontera
We have just received our first report of monarchs that have crossed the
border into Mexico! If you can't read Spanish, it's time to find a friend
de Octubre Monterrey, Nuevo Leon (25 N, -100 W)
"¿Será posible que Monarcas ya estén en los
alrededores de Monterrey? Mientras observabamos un partido de soccer
a 30 kilometros al norte del centro de Monterrey ayer Domingo 2 de Octubre,
en un típico paraje de Mesquital (estilo Texas)observé
lo que parecían ser dos mariposas Monarca volando en dirección
sur. Esto ocurrió alrededor del Domingo 2 de Octubre a las 11:00
AM, estas volaban a algunos siete metros por encima del campo de fútbol
aprovechando una suave brisa del norte. El cielo estaba semicubierto
de nuebes con tempraturas oscilando 28oC."
United States of Mexico: Challenge Question
Pull out your atlas and find the Estados Unidos Méxicanos.
Did you know that Mexico is divided into states? How many can you
"How many Mexican states are there? Through which states
do you think the monarchs will travel?"
Saw the Most Monarchs This Week? Migration-rate Math
Follow the link below to a few of this week's observations, including a
tricky one from Texas.
to Report Your Observations
Put your monarch news on the map! Please send reports of monarchs flying,
feeding, and resting. When you report your observations, include wind speed
and direction. For instructions see:
Next Monarch Migration Update Will Be Posted on October 14, 2005.
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