Monarch Butterfly Monarch Butterfly
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Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: October 14, 2005

Today’s Update Includes

Latest Migration Maps
Make Your Own Map in the classroom!

Migration Sightings
Sightings of Overnight Roosts PEAK
Migration Sightings
Click for live maps and read what each observer saw! Also See
Week-by-week Migration Animation

Highlights From the Migration Trail
If a person could have predicted the best time and place to witness monarch migration, Tuesday, October 11th would have been the time and Texas would have been the place. Monarchs were "streaming south" and "sailing on northeast breezes." There were "hundreds, if not thousands" and they were "anywhere, anytime we looked up!" High-flying butterflies were "floating past windows" in downtown Dallas on Tuesday in such numbers that the town took notice. Reports arrived suddenly from people perched in tall buildings around the city:
  • "Lots flying by the 54th floor window of Renaissances Tower going south down Elm Street."
  • "I'm seeing a Monarch fly by my office window on the 43rd floor of Republic Center in Dallas every 2 or 3 minutes. Fascinating!"
  • "I am on the 33rd floor in a Downtown Dallas office building. For the past 45 minutes or so, I have seen approximately 100-150 Monarchs floating by!"
  • "My office in downtown Dallas is on the 26th floor. I have seen numerous butterflies at my elevation and higher moving southward."

Thousands were passing near the U.S./Mexico border, in Eagle Pass, Texas, as Carol Cullar watched: "At any one segment of the sky there would be too many to count. It stretched as far as we could see across a 1.5 mile runway. With 100s visible at any one moment. I don't know how high into the sky they went."

Only a few miles away, also near the U.S. border with Mexico. "The entire desert was covered with an undulating blanket of sparkling monarchs flowing ever south. At any moment there were probably hundreds in my field of vision, and they must have been coming through by the tens of thousands. We sat and watched in awe."

"Monarchs began moving through in good numbers late Friday in conjunction with a cold front that blew through," explained Dallas butterfly expert Dale Clark. "Things have been streaming by here since last Friday evening...I counted over 250 in my own yard!" he added.

How many monarchs can you count in Dale Clark's yard?
Monarchs near Dallas, Texas
October 10, 2005
Courtesy of Dale Clark, Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society

¡Ya Estan en Mexico!
The very same day the word arrived from Piedras Negras, Coahuila (28 N, -100 W)). "Ya Estan en Mexico! Por fin la noticia que todos esperamos nos llego en Piedras Negras, Coahuila cuando el Ing. Juan Garza llamo por telefono hoy a las cinco de la tarde para informarnos que las monarcas estan cruzando la frontera a razon de 80 mariposas por minuto." (Courtesy of Correo Real)

Watching and Waiting at the Over-wintering Sanctuaries
Estela Romero lives beside the monarch sanctuaries in the mountain town of Angangueo, Michoacan, Mexico. She is watching the skies for the first monarchs to arrive:

"No hay aún mariposas Monarca a la vista," said Estela on Thursday. "Tardarán mas ó menos tres semanas en comenzar a llegar a nuestras montañas."

How High Do Monarchs Fly During Fall Migration?
Do monarchs fly as high as the clouds? Do they fly higher than the naked eye can see? Dr. Calvert responds and suggests an experiment to answer those questions. The highest monarch ever observed was seen by a glider pilot at 11,000 feet!

Up and Away: How High Do Butterflies Fly?
Do migrating monarchs fly higher than the Statue of Liberty or the world's tallest tree? Do they fly higher than hot air balloons, gliders or passenger jets? To put monarch flight-height into perspective, we have listed the height of various familiar things. Make a model on a high wall, from earth to sky.

How High Were the Monarchs Flying in Downtown Dallas?
Try Challenge Question #7 after you've read all about the height of monarch flight:

Challenge Question #7
"How high were the monarchs flying by the 54th floor window in downtown Dallas? Had you been standing on the ground could you have seen them with binoculars? With the naked eye?"

To respond to this Challenge Question, please follow these instructions.

Who Saw the Most Monarchs This Week? Migration-rate Math
Follow the link below to a few of this week's observations:

How to Report Your ObservationsReport Your Sightings
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:

The Next Monarch Migration Update Will Be Posted on October 14, 2005.


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