FINAL Monarch Update: June 16, 2011
Please Report
Your Sightings!

Thank you for helping to track the monarch's spring migration! As the season draws to a close, we hope this week's slideshow inspires a trip outside to explore the secrets of monarchs in the milkweed patch. Let's go!

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week

Photo Gallery: Butterfly Eggs

Where is the Monarch?

News: Thank You Citizen Scientists!

Spring 2011 is History
Look at this spring's migration map. Like pieces in a puzzle, each individual observation helps us see the whole. Thank you for contributing your observations. As we say goodbye to spring migration 2011, we leave a legacy for science. This year's migration is now part of a permanent archive. Take a look!

Try This! Summer Monarch Observations

Your First Monarch
If you haven't seen your first monarch of the season yet, please report it when you do!

How Many Monarchs per Day?
Keep a tally of the number of monarchs you see each day over the coming months. Report your count under "Monarch Other Observations." Expect to see higher numbers as new generations appear. In southern latitudes, watch for monarchs to reappear sometime in August. Please report the date you see your first.

Join the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project
Find out how you can monitor your local habitat this breeding season as part of Dr. Karen Oberhauser's Monarch Larva Monitoring Project.

Lazy-like Summer Flight
Watch how a monarch flies during the breeding season, as it searches for nectar, milkweed, or a mate—or avoids a potential predator. Flight behavior is "non-directional" at this time of year, with unexpected ups, downs, twist and turns. "They fly like they're dizzy," one boy said after seeing a monarch's zigzagging flight. Watch for a change when fall migration begins. "Directional flight" is a clear sign that migration is underway. Monarchs will fly in a straight line with a southbound bearing.

Fall Migration Only Two Months Away!
Sometime in August, the first monarchs will begin their journey south to Mexico. In northern latitudes, monarchs enter diapause in August, too. "August 15th is the clear cut-off date in Minnesota," says monarch expert Dr. Karen Oberhauser. Her experiments and field observations have consistently shown a shift to diapause on that day.

See You in August!
Watch for the first Fall Migration Update on August 25, 2011. Meanwhile, carpe diem!

Map Archives Spring Monarch Butterfly Migration
Spring 2011 is History
Thank You Citizen Scientists!


Are the Butterflies Both Monarchs?

Two Monarchs?


Are the Butterflies Both Monarchs?

Lazy-like Summer Flight


Please Report Your Observations
  • First monarch of 2011
  • Monarchs per day
  • First "fall" monarch
    (southern latitudes)


Slideshow: Let's Find Monarchs!

It's time to go monarch hunting in the milkweed patch. Monarch larvae leave tell-tale signs on the milkweed they eat. Do you know what to look for? Find out where monarchs of different sizes and ages can be found. Find evidence of adaptations that help monarchs grow, thrive and survive. This slideshow inspires a trip outside to explore the secrets of the milkweed patch. Let's go!


The Annual Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly
The Migration: Maps and Journal Page
Pre-migration map: Winter monarch butterfly sightings (January or February) Map of milkweed emergence: Spring 2011
How do spring migrations compare?

Let's find out when and where monarchs and milkweed appear this spring.

The first FALL Monarch Migration Update will be posted on August 25, 2011.