Migration Update: September 11, 2008 Please Report
Your Sightings! >>

They're Definitely Moving Toward Mexico!
Look at the migration map and you will plainly see, the monarchs are moving toward their winter home in Mexico. They're entering Nebraska and Kansas right now in large numbers, and people in Iowa are reporting peak conditions.

"Until you see so many monarchs in one small area you have no idea of the magnitude of their migration," said a woman in Stuart, Iowa, on Tuesday when a roost appeared in her backyard.

"Migration is in full swing in eastern Nebraska," noted 3rd grade teacher Ms. Leishman in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, on Monday. "Last night at sunset we watched at least 50-60 monarchs begin to roost in the trees at our farm. During the school day the children watched 20+ monarchs travel through the playground area."

The number of migration sightings is increasing now in the east, and people are starting to see more butterflies. From the 28th floor of his New York building a man saw monarchs flying by the window today at the rate of about one per minute!

How Does This Fall Compare?
We have still not received a single report of a roost in Canada or the eastern United States. This could indicate that the migratory population is smaller than past years. This chart compares the total number of roosts reported as of September 11 each year:

How does this fall compare?
Fall 2008
Fall 2007
Fall 2006
33 roosts
104 roosts
58 roosts

How many monarchs do you count in one minute? >>



Resting at a roost in Minnesota
Photo: Nancy Bauer







For Your Journal
Explore this week's sightings!






Attention All Monarch Observers!

We need to know two things when you report your monarch sightings:

  1. The number of monarchs you see and
  2. The number of minutes (or hours) you were watching.

Why is this important? Because when people report data in a uniform way we can make accurate comparisons and see where the migration is strongest. We measure the pace of migration in monarchs per minute (or monarchs per hour). This measurement is called the migration rate.

Try it! Who Saw the Strongest Migration?

Please Report Your Sightings!
Watch for monarchs that are flying in "directional flight," resting at overnight roosts, or refueling at flowers in fields, gardens, or roadsides.

The Migration: Maps, Data and Questions

Fall Roosts


PEAK Migration


ALL Monarch
Migration Sightings


Distribution Map >>

About these maps >>


Make your own map >>

This Week's Map Questions >>

Guided Tour for Using Journey North in the Classroom: Getting Started

When, Where and How to Watch Fall Monarch Migration
What kind of observations does Journey North collect and how are they important? Students explore these questions as they read and analyze authentic migration sightings. They discover that detailed reports are essential in a scientific study of monarch migration. Students apply their learning by writing their own "Practice Reports." Finally, they learn how to report monarch sightings to Journey North by submitting their practice reports to the live "Practice Report" map.


Build a Travel Journal
As you embark on your journey with the monarchs, invite students to begin building travel journals. Page by page, students collect and reflect on their observations and learning experiences. The journal is a workplace where students document discoveries, explore ever-changing events, record compelling questions, and chronicle each step of their scientific journey. Here are the first pages:

Related Journey North Lessons and Links

Monarch Butterfly Migration Updates Will be Posted on THURSDAYS: Aug. 28, Sep. 4, 11, 18, 25, Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6...or until the monarchs reach Mexico!

The Next Monarch Migration Update Will Be Posted on September 18, 2008.