Monarch Migration Update: March 4, 2010
Please Report
Your Sightings!

It's March! The monarch's journey north is about to begin. At the colonies in Mexico, the days are getting longer, the air is getting drier, and the temperatures are getting warmer. It's almost time to go! Get ready to track the spring migration.

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week

Dr. Lincoln Brower

The journey north is about to begin!

News: The Final Weeks in Mexico

"Within the month—a relatively short time—the butterflies will vacate their winter haunt and begin the recolonization of North America. An ambitious project, to be certain," says Dr. Bill Calvert.

What signs of change are observers seeing now? How will we know when monarchs are ready to leave their winter home?

March is the month that the monarchs are most active. They abandon their tight, dense clusters and move down the mountains in search of water. Below the mountains, streams and other sources of open water are mobbed with thirsty butterflies.

There is much cascading now, another sign of colony breakup. "There is hardly anything that dazzles more than the simultaneous falling of tens of thousands of butterflies from a roost—as if gravity suddenly pulled with extra force," says Calvert. "And everywhere, monarchs are mating."

 "There are no words to describe the sights and sounds of this amazing forest!" says 4th Grade teacher Sheila Turner.

The Migration: Maps and Journal Page

When and where do you think the first northbound monarchs from Mexico will be reported? Explore the spring migration map and make your prediction:


Journal Page

Research Question and Links: Explore!
This Week's Research Question

The monarchs that are about to migrate north are survivors. They have survived for five months in Mexico while eating little or nothing at all.

  • Where do monarchs get the energy they need to survive the winter in Mexico?

Research for facts as you read this week's slideshow:

Additional Links to Explore

More Monarch Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Monarch Migration Update Will Be Posted on March 11, 2010.