Monarch Butterfly  Migration

Migration News: October 6, 2006

Look-There's a monarch!
Quinlan, TX >>

Latest Migration Maps

About these maps >>
All Migration Sightings
Sightings of Overnight ROOSTS PEAK
Migration Sightings
Please Report Your Sightings! >>
Highlights from the Migration Trail

People reported migrating monarchs from points across the monarch’s range this week! In the north, observers are surprised to see so many monarchs so late; people as far south as Texas say numbers are beginning to build; and the first sightings are starting to arrive from northern Mexico! Here are some of the week’s highlights: >>

9/28/06 Rule, TX (33. 19 N, -99.90 W)
"At our house we counted 63 monarchs. I was so excited. We had been watching for a whole month and only seeing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 9,” said the 2nd grade scientist.

9/29/06 Sweetwater, TX (32.50 N, -100.30 W)
The first spectacular roost was reported in Sweetwater, TX and estimated to include as many as 40,000 butterflies. “I checked for their arrival last night (9/28/06) at 7:00 pm, and saw about 300 early arrivals. By 5:00 pm today, the trees and grass were literally filled.”

9/30/06 Arlington, TX (32.64 N, -97.17 W)
"Large numbers have not shown up yet, but the front runners are here,” reports Julie Burgen.

9/29/06 Pottsville, AR (35.21 N, -93.05 W)
A clear wave of monarchs moved into northern Arkansas last Friday and Mr. Roberts Earth Science students documented its arrival. Where they had been seeing only 3-8 per hour all week they suddenly saw 138!

10/2/06 Harrisburg, AR (35.57 N, -90.71 W)
Around 9:00 am, my class counted 6 Monarchs flying past our weather station during our weather observations. Later in the afternoon, I received a report from my mother in Wynne, AR (about 20 miles south) that her pecan tree limbs were loaded with hundreds of Monarchs around 11:00 am.

Eastern region:
Let's check in with the two monitoring sites on the Atlantic Coast:

10/5/06 Cape May, New Jersey
The Monarch Monitoring Project counted an average of 624 monarchs/hour during the past week. Are numbers up or down from the week before? Take a look. >>

10/2/06 Assateague Island, Virginia
The biggest day yet, reported Denise Gibbs of the Chincoteague Monarch Monitoring Project: “Monarchs migrated down the island by about 1,300 per hour for most of today. It was quite a show!" >>

Migration Rate Math

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

Resting in Sweetwater, TX. Only 796 more miles to travel!

And from the Monarch's winter home in Mexico:

No sight of them yet...>>

Angangueo, Michoacan (19 N, -100 W)

This Week: What Does the Map Reveal About Migration?

This is a unique year. Monarchs are unusually abundant in the East and scarce in the Midwest. This fall’s migration map is revealing a pattern we have never seen before. It could shed light on this migration mystery:

  • Which way do monarchs from the East Coast travel to Mexico?

Let’s look closely: Notice how many migration sightings on the Atlantic Coast and along the Appalachian Mountains. Next, notice how few monarchs have been reported from the region circled on the map below. What could this mean about the route monarchs take? Read on...>>

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 13, 2006

Copyright 2006 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.
Please send all questions, comments, and suggestions to
our feedback form