Monarch Butterfly  Migration

Migration News: September 29, 2006

Hard to count!

It's hard to estimate their numbers but we do know this: These monarchs have made it to Arkansas. >>

Latest Migration Maps

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Highlights from the Migration Trail

Eastern region:
A spectacular migration is moving down the Atlantic Coast right now. During the past week, monarchs appeared on the coast in large numbers from Maine to Virginia. On Monday, over 13,000 rested on the Massachusetts Coast. On Wednesday, a clear wave traveled over New York City and delighted those who saw butterflies fill the sky. Reports continue to arrive as I write. Listen to these:

9/27/06 New York, New York

  • I walked out of school at 3:00 pm and there they were! I observed approximately 100 monarchs traveling south. I was so excited since I had just read to second graders about monarch migration. I was pointing the monarchs out to anyone who would listen.”
  • "While sitting in an outdoor cafe downtown I observed over 170 Monarchs from 2:50 pm until aprox 4:00 pm. Amazingly, they seemed to stay all along the Avenue and many appeared as high as the 5 story buildings."

9/26/06 Ventnor, New Jersey
As I sat on the Ventnor Boardwalk, I counted butterflies coming along the beach and the rooftops of the beach homes. I tallied butterflies for one hour beginning at 4:50 pm and totaled 272 butterflies!

9/25/06 Misquamicut, Rhode Island
We decided to have lunch on the beach. Hundreds, possibly thousands of beautiful monarch butterflies were following the coastline south. None of us could believe that these fragile insects could fly so far!

9/28/06 Cape May, New Jersey
“SOME BIG NUMBERS!” wrote Dick Walton of the Monarch Monitoring Project. Is this week a record? Take a look. >>

Migration Rate Math

Here is this week's collection of quantifiable monarch observations, and background materials:



Central region:
Monarchs continued to come down from the north and converge on the states of Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas. The peak appears to have reached 37 N, and the monarchs are poised to pour into Oklahoma and Texas next. Some highlights:

9/28/2006 Summit, AR (36.28 N, -92.67 W)
Between 3:45 and 4 PM this afternoon we counted 309 monarchs within our limited field of vision. We counted what we could see coming over the top of our house and through a group of trees to the east. The seemed to come in spurts. All were headed to the southwest

09/27/2006 Imperial, MO (38.38 N, -90.44 W)
Between the approximate time of 3:15 pm and 3:45 pm we sighted well over 1,000 monarch butterflies cross the north horizon, heading south.

09/25/2006 Baxter Springs, KS (37.06 N, -94.77 W)
How amazing! We saw what must have been thousands of Monarchs flying south over Highway 400.

And from the Monarch's winter home in Mexico:

No sight of them yet...>>

Angangueo, Michoacan (19 N, -100 W)

This Week: Geography and Migration--Hugging the Atlantic Coast

This map shows three great places to watch monarch migration on the Atlantic Coast. A combination of wind, geography, and monarch behavior explain why. Look closely at the map. Consider this question before you read on:

What makes these places so good for watching monarch migration? Think...then explore more >>

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 October 6, 2006

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