|The Atlantic Coast is about to become a major migration flyway.
Northwest winds are beginning to push New England's butterflies coastward. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut reported peak migration this week — so watch the wind map and the butterfly parade that follows.
"The monarchs were following the path of the Atlantic Ocean! In less than 5 minutes I saw 6 butterflies. This is the most in two years."
September 23 Rye, New Hampshire
"The monarch was flying through the parking lot in a straight line at our school. It was flying in a southerly direction. We think it was migrating!" September 17 Blessed Sacrament School Holyoke, Massachusetts
The spectacular Great Lakes migration continued this week. Although numbers are finally beginning to fall, an impressive migration rate of 140 monarchs per hour was recorded. Michigan's Grosse Pointe Academy was among those who saw peak numbers:
"While walking to recess we spotted 50 monarchs on our butterfly bushes!" September 17
Peak migration is now approaching in Kansas, and first roosts have appeared in Oklahoma. Roost sizes are small so far in the region, containing an average of 100 butterflies.
After such a strong showing in the northern Great Plains, these smaller sightings are surprising. Have the persistent south winds during 5 of the last 7 days held them back? Let's see if numbers rise in the week ahead.
Monarchs on Radar?
National Weather Service radar picked up unusual signals northeast of St. Louis last Friday and meteorologists suspected migrating monarchs. What questions need to be answered before conclusions can be drawn?