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News: Spring 2009
Posted Thursdays: Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26, Mar. 5, 12, 19, 26, Apr. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14, 21, 28, ...and weekly until the migration is complete!

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: June 11, 2009
Cloudy, cold, windy and rainy...that's the weather report from much of the north where monarchs have yet to appear widely. This is not butterfly weather! Also this week: Volunteers are needed for the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project. You can help scientists study monarch populations by establishing your own study site. Why the red flags in my study site?
Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: June 4, 2009
Monarchs have now entered Nova Scotia! A sighting there puts the eastern edge of the migration nearly 3,000 miles from its origin in Mexico. Monarchs have also been sighted in the last two northeastern states. Can you name them? Also this week, learn how you can help scientists study the monarch parasite "OE." Look at the two species' life cycles and see how closely they are interconnected.
Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: May 28, 2009
Canadians welcomed the monarchs' return this week as large numbers of butterflies reached the final nation of their tri-national migration. People from five new states and provinces reported monarchs this week. Use these geographic clues to find out which ones! Go on a milkweed hunt in today's slideshow. Milkweed can hide right in front of your eyes. Can you spot the milkweed in these pictures?
 

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: May 21, 2009
This is the week we've been waiting for! Monarchs are popping up all over the map. The number of sightings--and the fresh condition--are clear signs that a new generation is on the wing. Take a look at a magnified monarch wing this week. Also, Estela Romero sends news from Mexico as students go back to school after the influenza emergency. Photo: Raul Gonzalez

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: May 14, 2009
This was the slowest week of the season! The migration virtually came to a standstill. While we wait for the big surge in numbers--predicted next week--think about Journey North's data-collection methods. Why is this population map important? Also, can a milkweed plant grow fast enough to feed hungry larvae? See what this week's photo study shows. Photo: Bud Hensley

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: May 7, 2009
The first monarchs have crossed into Canada and reached latitude 42 north. As monarchs appeared in backyards and schoolyards this week, people were watching butterfly wings for clues. When will the fresh-winged butterflies of the next generation appear in full force? Also this week: What can you learn by looking closely at butterfly wings? And have you noticed the tiny holes on the sides of the monarch caterpillar's body?

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: April 30, 2009
Warm air spread across the east this week and monarchs moved into six new states. But are the monarchs missing the Appalachian Mountains? See if satellite images hold clues. Spread the news--a new generation of monarchs is on the wing. And think about this: If a single monarch can lay hundreds of eggs why don't we have a billion butterflies?

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: April 24, 2009
The migration has now moved into 18 states. Most likely, the migration map now shows how far the monarchs from Mexico will travel. We must wait for their offspring to join the migration in place of their parents. Consider the monarch's need for renewal on Earth Day. This pie chart shows where habitat is most important in the early spring. Also: How does a monarch get out of its chrysalis? Take a close look!

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: April 16, 2009
Dr. Brower says frost damage to milkweed is a hazard monarchs face in the spring. What are other risks of moving north too quickly? The monarchs have now moved into 4 new states and reached latitude 47N. Sightings from the East Coast raise interesting questions: Did those monarchs came up from Mexico or from the coast? Also, can you name another long-distant migrant that eats nectar and is traveling now? Photo: Bud Hensley

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: April 9, 2009
Look how far east the monarchs have gone and how little they have moved to the north! Measure from a central point in Texas you'll find they've flown 950 miles to the east and only 500 miles to the north. What causes this pattern? This week's monarch photo is a mystery. Any idea what it is? Photo: Dr. Lincoln Brower

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: April 2, 2009
When you look at the migration map this week, think EGGS. Think about a trail of eggs that stretches at least 1,300 miles, from the overwintering sites in Mexico to a roadside in Arkansas. That's how far the monarchs have traveled. And think about time. April is the last month in the lives of the monarchs that over-wintered in Mexico. What do the monarchs look like now? Find words to describe a very old and a very new butterfly. Photo: Sandra Conroy

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: March 26, 2009
The first monarchs have already been sighted in Arkansas and Oklahoma—and the 19 fresh eggs found yesterday in Jackson, Mississippi are evidence that monarchs have even arrived there! What does spring migration look like, and can you solve the migration mystery in California? As the final butteflies leave the overwintering sites in Mexico, the town of Angangueo honors monarchs and the first day of spring. Photo: Estela Romero
Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: March 19, 2009
The monarchs are pouring out of Mexico now and arriving in Texas where severe drought conditions greet them. How could this affect the butterflies? Predict where the migration will travel next. (You might be surprised!) Why do the monarchs travel when and where they do? Find out why collecting this information is important. Photo: Dr. Lincoln Brower, Sweet Briar College
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Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: March 12, 2009
Here come the monarchs! The colonies in Mexico are breaking up and the journey north is underway! Spring migration begins every March in a flurry. The monarchs are in a race against time. They can't stay in Mexico any longer — but they can't move north too quickly either. The timing must be precise. Why do the monarchs go now, and how do they know when to leave?

  Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: March 5, 2009
Spring migration is about to begin! "Girls and boys: Monarchs will indeed leave our forests in only a few days," wrote Estela Romero from Angangueo. Millions of monarchs are about to take to the sky and begin their journey north. They will migrate across the continent in response to Earth's seasonal cycles. What triggers their departure? Look at these line graphs for clues and make predictions. Get ready to explore the many time-sensitive connections between monarchs, climate and the seasons.
  Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: February 26, 2009
How is a tree-trunk like a hot water bottle? How is a forest like an umbrella and blanket? Dr. Lincoln Brower is back from the overwintering sites in Mexico. Read about his trip and explore the analogies he uses to describe how the forest protects monarch butterflies. Also, monarch expert Dr. Karen Oberhauser is ready to answer your questions.   Ask the Expert is now open! Send questions only an expert can answer.
Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: February 19, 2009
"The sounds of monarch wings in flight was overwhelming," said Susan Myers after visiting the butterfly sanctuary on Monday. The final weeks of the monarch's winter season are here and temperatures are rising. Why did the monarchs migrate to a place that is so cold? Today, find out how cold temperatures help monarchs survive the winter, and the challenges cold temperatures present.
Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: February 12, 2009
Every 98 minutes the satellite zips around the world. It's 438 miles high and it's traveling 17,000 miles per hour. On board is one of the world's most powerful cameras. Any day, between now and mid-March, the camera will take a snapshot of Mexico's monarch butterfly Reserve. Find out how this satellite and high-powered camera can help scientists protect the monarch's forest for people and monarchs. Who made this possible? Students! Image: GEOEye
Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: February 5, 2009
Welcome to Journey North's spring's migration season! It's been three months since the first monarchs reached their winter home in Mexico after their long, fall migration. How many monarchs are in Mexico this winter? Find out why scientists count butterfly trees instead of butterflies to answer that important conservation question. Also, why are the trees in this picture orange? Photo: Dr. Lincoln Brower, Sweet Briar College

Welcome to Journey North's spring monarch migration season!

Winter >> We begin each year while the monarchs are still at the overwintering sites, deep in central Mexico. The monarch’s story of survival during the winter months in Mexico is as spectacular as their incredible migration. During the first weeks, we’ll look at the monarch’s winter habitat and their adaptations for survival.
Spring >> Get ready to track the migration! The monarchs head north in March. Find out how to report your sightings and track the migration on real-time migration maps.

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