Migration News: October 20, 2006

How high do monarchs fly?

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Highlights from the Migration Trail

A Dramatic Surge Across Texas!
A strong cold front moved across Texas last Thursday. The wind shifted to the north and...

  • "The sky was filled with Monarchs drifting on the strong tailwind. They are passing overhead in the lower couple hundred feet of the air column at a rate of about 30 to 50/minute."
  • "I happened to look up and for 15-20 minutes, watched hundreds upon thousands of Monarch butterflies riding the front, heading south."
  • "I found Monarchs from 200 feet to as high as I could focus. Every time I changed focus, more came into view."
  • "Take the binoculars as some are waaaaaaaaaaaaaay up there."

Special thanks to Mike Quinn of Texas Parks and Wildlife for forwarding many spectacular observations. (You can read all comments from observers on the migration map.)

Monarchs filled the skies when the cold front passed!

North winds after cold frontCold Fronts and the Wind

1) Wind direction BEFORE
Winds blow from the south before a cold front arrives.

2) Wind direction AFTER
What happens after the front passes?

Put your mouse on the map and see!

More about cold fronts and migration...>>

News from the Monarch's winter home in Mexico: They're arriving!

October 18, 2006

"The very first monarchs seem to be arriving! Yes, it seems to be that it is so!" announced Estela Romero. "Today, my youngest brother saw a Monarch flying at the yard of our house!" Today the television also reported the first manadas of Monarchs arriving to overwinter with us!

  • Here is the news from Mexico..>>
This Week: How High Do Monarchs Fly?

It's hard to tell how high monarchs are flying as they travel overhead. People often say they are flying "as high as the eye can see." Glider pilots have seen monarchs as high as 11,000 feet above the ground, but people can't see that high.

At what altitude do monarchs disappear from view?

Read on....>>>

Teachers' Guide

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

Also: Migration Rate Math: Here is this week's collection of quantifiable monarch observations: Who saw the strongest migration this week?

The Next Monarch Butterfly Migration Update will be posted on October 27, 2006

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