|The first monarch has been spotted in Canada! Near the southernmost tip of Ontario, came the country's first sighting:
"I was astonished to see a female Monarch today at 4:10 PM. She was in beautiful shape. I was close enough to confirm she was a female Monarch and not a Queen or Viceroy. She was flitting around looking for milkweed." May 12, 2014 Goshen, Indiana
Ideal Conditions for Migration
A weather pattern
has been in place that's ideal for northward migration. These maps show a typical day last week. See the bulge of warm air that stretches as far north as Michigan? Strong south winds were pumping that warm air northward. In conditions such as these, monarchs can migrate northward quickly from the source breeding regions in the south.
"We've had major bird fallouts in our area the last few days, so the monarch could have been blown north as well. I think the last time we've had a fallout like this was almost 20 years ago." May 8, 2014 Bridgman, Michigan
Was Migration Stalled?
Before this week's south winds, monarchs seemed to be stacking up south of latitude 40°N due to persistent north winds. At that time, an observer in Nebraska reported a remarkable 10 monarchs at the time of her first sighting.
"There were six together in pine trees settled on east side and I saw at least 4 more flying in the field. It was 93 degrees and winds were from the northeast at 20 mph."
Listen to the Google+ Hangout that took place last Thursday, as part of World Wildlife Fund's Monarch Butterfly Week. The webcast features conversations with science, conservation, and education experts.