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Monarch Butterfly Update: Feb. 3, 2011
Please Report
Your Sightings!

Welcome to Journey North's 18th season! The monarchs reached their winter home in Mexico three months ago after a long fall migration. Why did they fly so far? What's so special about this place? Start the season with a virtual visit. Experience the sights and sounds of a butterfly colony. Collect your questions—and get ready for a season of discovery!

This Week's Update Includes:

 

Image of the Week
Tagged monarch recovered in Georgia

Can you hear butterfly wings?

News: Surviving the Winter in Mexico

From Continent to Colony
Why do monarchs cross the continent to spend the winter in colonies clustered by the millions? How does this special place meet the monarchs' needs for five winter months?

Our Theme: Surviving the Winter in Mexico
During the next 5 weeks, we'll explore the habitat and climate of the monarch's winter home, and learn about the adaptations monarchs have that help them to survive.

Essential Question:
How do the winter sanctuaries in Mexico meet the monarchs' needs for survival?

Take a look!
Start the season with the sights and sounds of a butterfly colony. Take a virtual visit to Mexico through photos and video. Observe details. Count, measure and compare. Ask questions, and try to interpret what you see.

  • What surprises you as you look through these images?
  • What clues can you find about the food, water, shelter and space monarchs need during the winter?
  • What details do you see about the weather and climate conditions of central Mexico?

Virginia Students Share Observations from Mexico
Lucky high school students followed their curiosity about monarchs all the way to Mexico. They just returned from a spectacular trip. "We expected to do density counts, but instead were trying not to inhale a monarch!" began teacher Heather Jersild. "I think we're all still hearing the sound of the butterfly wings!"

Monarch butterflies in flight at overwintering site in MexicoMonarch butterflies in flight at overwintering site in Mexico


Monarch butterflies in colony in Mexico

Monarch Butterflies!

One bough can hold 15,000 monarch butterflies.

 

Monarch butterflies in flight at overwintering site in Mexico

Virginia Students Share Observations from Mexico

"I think we're all still hearing the sound of the butterfly wings!"

 

Journal: Capture the Wonder With Words
Monarch butterflies in flight at overwintering site in Mexico

What notes would a poet write while sitting below butterfly-filled branches? What words could capture the wonder of what you'd see and hear? Use this journal page as a springboard for creative writing:

Tagged monarch recovered in Georgia
Photo Gallery: Explore the Monarch's Winter Habitat in Mexico

Continue to explore the monarch's winter habitat in Mexico through this collection of images. Use the photos and activities as a springboard to address the essential question: How do the winter sanctuaries in Mexico meet the monarchs' needs for survival? This Teacher Guide provides a framework and tools for visual exploration:

 


Tagged monarch recovered in Georgia

Seeing Monarchs or Milkweed? Report Now!

All monarchs do not go to Mexico! Before spring migration begins, please help us document where monarchs are located this winter and where milkweed is available.

Map of monarch wintering sites in Mexico Pre-migration map: Winter monarch butterfly sightings (January or February) Map of milkweed emergence: Spring 2011

Mexico's Monarch Butterfly Wintering Region

Monarch Butterfly
Winter Sightings

(map/sightings/home)
First Milkweed
(map/animation/sightings)
The next Monarch Migration Update will be posted on February 10, 2011.

 

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