27 , 2009
Bill Calvert and Bonnie Chase of the Monarch Watch of Texas are
here in Mexico with The Raptor Trust of New Jersey, world famous for its
raptor research and advocacy and for patching the wings and repairing
the sinews of wild birds of all species.
Weekend Weather Included Hail
After a cold weekend replete with a twenty-three-year-record hail fall
in Morelia that caused the populace to turn out into the streets to build
snow (hail) men and throw hail balls at each other, the temperature gradually
returned to seasonal averages.
Kinds of Clusters at Chincua: One a Sign of Colony Break-up
arrived late at Chincua and trudged down the twisted path of the Arroyo
La Planca (also know as the Arroyo Hondo) on reluctant horses
to find butterflies returning to their afternoon roosts. The colony, less
than a hectare, was strung out along a side arroyo that lead
upwards to the Llano de los Toros and the famous Brower point.
butterfly clusters (from the earlier January colony)—and
loose clusters high in the trees —were present.
The latter indicate that the colony is beginning its spring expansion
and break up. No trunk clusters were present, although the Vigilantes
guarding the colonies would not allow us into the more dense clusters.
at Rosario Dazzled All Present
following day, after debating our best sighting and observation options,
we ascended the mountain to the ejido community of Rosario, paid our admission
fees, and walked up the 627 stairs and long, twisted path to the Llano
de los Canejos. The first indications of the delights to come were
the tens of thousands of butterflies swarming over the llano,
and thousands nectaring and drinking from mudflats, seeps, and open waters.
A short path from the llano led us into the forest where we saw
tens of thousands more soaring downward, basking on sun-drenched foliage,
and watering. We finally arrived at the clusters in the headwater of the
Arroyo Grande above the community of La Salud. Scores of matings
were observed. Likely due to a high pressure cell above us and cloudless
skies, the butterflies at Rosario were extremely active and dazzled all
present with their spirited exuberance. In closing, we must add that the
oldest of us who made the trek up the mountain was 81 years of age.
Dr. Bill Calvert
at the El Rosario monarch sanctuary too on Saturday, Feb. 21st while Estela
Romero was visiting.
presence of loose clusters indicate that the colony is beginning its
spring expansion and break up.
active butterflies dazzled all present with their spirited exuberance.