Monarch Migration Update: August 26, 2010
Please Report
Your Sightings!

They're off! Flying, resting, and refueling, the monarchs are on their way to Mexico and excitement is in the air. Please watch for monarchs that are flying in "directional flight," resting at overnight roosts, or refueling at flowers in fields, gardens, or roadsides. We begin the season with a puzzle: what makes monarchs born at this time of year so special? Find out as you explore the highlights of the monarch's annual cycle.

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week

Monarch butterfly

What's so special about this monarch?

News: Monarchs on the Move!

Welcome to Journey South's fall migration season! A cool wind came down from the north this week and fall migration began in a flurry. Overnight roosts were discovered from North Dakota to Ontario.

  • Check out this video clip taken on Tuesday in Wisconsin. Watch how the butterflies behave as they form an overnight roost.
  • Monarchs appeared suddenly the same day in northern Minnesota while northwest winds blew up to 30 mph: "There are thousands of them resting in the trees! Very, very cool," exclaimed the woman who discovered them.
  • Paul Merrill patiently counted monarchs as they passed his observation post in Ontario: "Many monarch butterflies moving south," he said, and estimated 60 monarchs per hour on Monday and 35 per hour on Tuesday.

Watch the weather!
As you'll discover this fall, cold fronts with their strong north winds make the monarch's migration to Mexico possible. Only with the wind could they travel so far, so fast, and so effortlessly.

Wanted: Your Monarch Sightings
If you see monarchs any time, please let us know. Report frequently—but at least once a week—as long as monarchs are present. So far, 324 people have spotted monarchs and 19 roost-sites have been reported. Thank you, citizen scientists!

Video clip of monarch butterflies forming an overnight roost (Osceola, Wisconsin: August 24, 2010) Courtesy of Mr. Pat Swerkstrom

Monarchs forming an overnight roost
Osceola, Wisconsin
August 24, 2010
Seeing Monarchs?
Tell us when and where monarchs are present. Please report your monarch sightings at least once a week.
Report Weekly!
The Migration: Maps and Journal Page 
Map of All Monarch Butterfly Sightings: Fall 2010 Map of Monarch Butterfly Roosts: Fall 2010 Migration Migration map questions: Week 1

ALL Monarch


Fall Roosts


For Your Journal
This Week's Map Questions

Seeing Monarchs? Please let us know!

Puzzle and Slideshow: The Monarch's Annual Cycle

Do you know the sequence of events in the monarch's annual cycle?

  • Puzzle it out! Challenge yourself to put the pieces in order. Try it in English and in Spanish, too.
  • Slideshow and Teaching Suggestions are also provided here.

Puzzle Page: The Monarch Butterfly's Annual Cycle

Puzzle Page


The next Monarch Migration Update will be posted on September 2, 2010.