Monarch Migration Update: May 27, 2010
Please Report
Your Sightings!

Monarch sightings soared during the past week to a record-breaking high, and the migration moved into Manitoba. How much farther north do you think the monarchs will migrate? Predict and hypothesize in your journal. Also this week: Look at a dozen butterfly eggs and describe one. How does your chosen egg compare to the monarch?

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week

Butterfly Eggs

A Dozen Butterfly Eggs

News: A Record-breaking Week!

What a week! More than 150 people reported their first-of-the-year monarchs during the past week. This the highest weekly count of the year (see graph) also our highest weekly count ever!

Monarch expert Dr. Karen Oberhauser was among the observers. She saw her first monarch in her home state of Minnesota. “Right on time,” she noted.

Another deserving Minnesota observer was Cindy Schmidt who manages the Journey North database. Cindy saw 4 monarchs on Thursday. “More than I saw all of last year!”

Based on the high number of sightings, it seems that the monarchs had a successful breeding season in the south. What are other possibilities?

  • Consider this: Do you think there are more monarchs or simply more people reporting monarchs?

Monarchs Make Manitoba!
Remarkably, the migration moved into Manitoba last week, and the northernmost monarchs have reached latitude 50 degrees north.

An observer reported from Winnipeg on Wednesday: "A monarch in good condition was sighted in our front yard this morning about 11am. I suspect that the extreme south winds we had on the weekend helped bring the monarchs further north."

It was unusually warm in the north and the wind blew from the south for several days. Look at the temperature map and you will see how far north the hot air mass spread. Notice that sections of southern Canada were hotter than Texas! Time after time we've watched the migration leap northward under wind and weather conditions like these.

  • Where do you think the northernmost monarchs will be next week at this time?
  • For your journal: How far north do you think the monarchs will travel this spring? Predict and hypothesize in your journal this week.

Sightings by Week

A Record-breaking Week!

Temperature map
Some of southern Canada was hotter than Texas!



YOUR observations are important!
When you see your first monarch of the season, please report to the migration map.

The Migration: Maps and Journal Page 



Your observations are important: Even if other people have reported monarchs from your region, please report the first one you see this spring.

Assessment Tools: Showcase Student Learning

The monarch spring migration wraps up in June. As the end of the school year approaches, think about a culmination project or presentation to wrap up your Monarch Migration unit. Have students create a product that showcases concepts learned and skills attained.


Send samples of student work to showcase on Journey North.

Contact us

Year-end Evaluation: Please Share Your Thoughts

Please take a few minutes to complete our Year-end Evaluation. With your help, we can we document Journey North's reach, impact and value. We need comments like yours to keep the program going and growing.

More Monarch Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Monarch Migration Update Will Be Posted on June 3, 2010.