Monarch Butterfly  Migration

Migration News: September 15, 2006

The migration to Mexico is underway! Here is the news from the migration trail:

Near Montreal, 500 monarchs were refueling on "verge d'or" (goldenrod) last week but only 4 remained this week. >>

Latest Migration Maps

About these maps >>
All Migration Sightings
Sightings of Overnight ROOSTS PEAK
Migration Sightings
  • Click for live maps and read the observer's comments.
  • Make Your Own Map in the classroom! >>
  • Also See: Week-by-week Migration Animation >>
Please Report Your Sightings! >>
Highlights from the Migration Trail

Central region:
It was a rainy week in the Central region, but when the skies cleared, monarchs were on the move. Notice the late-week action:

9/14/06 Lincoln, NE (40.81 N, -96.71 W)
"Greetings from St. Joseph's School Several students have seen 15-20 Monarchs. Our art teacher has sighted at least 50 Monarchs roosting in her backyard. One of our maintenance workers sighted 'thousands' in the trees near his farm about ten miles south of Lincoln."

9/13/06 Prairie City, IA (41.55 N, -93.25 W)
Mr. Robert Woodward counted 266 monarchs in 35 minutes, his highest count of the season. "In the wake of three days of rain, dampness, and cool weather, today was sunny and mild, and the monarch butterflies were on the move once again," he noted.

Eastern region:

9/11/06 Cape May, NJ (38.97 N, -74.92W)
Keep your eye on Cape May, NJ. Monarchs are being counted there daily for the 15th year. Last week, the monitors saw 25 monarchs/hour, compared to 32/hour the year before. You can compare 15 years' of migration along the Atlantic Coast. Take a look. >>

9/12/06 West Granby, CT (41.95 N, -72.86W)
Anna, Emmett & Elliott, home school students in West Granby, CT saw three monarchs in three towns, and each was flying to the southwest. "Any chance one of our second sightings was actually the first monarch we saw at 12:30?” they wondered.

Amazingly, that question has been answered. A Connecticut family went on a picnic one day 50 miles from home, and found a monarch that they had tagged themselves, 5 days earlier! Read this and other tagging stories, and see how much a few tiny butterflies can teach us about migration.

Calculate the "Migration Rate"

Please report your sightings AND tell us how long you were watching.

Why is this important? Try some migration rate math and you'll see.

For example, if one person sees 100 monarchs in an hour and another sees 100 monarchs in a minute, who saw a stronger migration?

Here's a chance to practice your migration math:

True Stories from Tagged Monarch Butterflies

As monarchs pass overhead on their way to Mexico, you may wonder, How fast do monarchs migrate? Where will the butterflies I see right now be in a few hours, days, or weeks?

Nobody can travel with a butterfly, but people can mark individual butterflies by putting tiny tags on the butterflies' wings. Here are true stories from tagged monarch butterflies:


Symbolic Monarchs Fly Across Borders Freely

On their annual migrations, monarchs fly freely between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. None of these countries "owns" the monarchs. They are a shared natural resource. Just as the migration crosses borders each season, so does the responsibility for monarch stewardship. >>

Get Ready for the Symbolic Migration
Deadline to Migrate: October 13, 2006 >>

Teachers' Guide

The suggestions in this guide are provided to help teachers integrate Journey North's real-time program in the classroom.

The Next Monarch Butterfly Migration Update will be posted on September 22, 2006

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