The 2013 tagging season resulted in my lowest totals of monarchs since discovering my “nectar superhighway” migration pathway. So far (October 18) I have tagged 82 monarchs out of 113 seen. Migration started slow with reports of 80-90% decline in monarch numbers. The hawk watches at Pilot Mountain noted a severe decline in migrant Monarchs, singles as opposed to hundreds!
As noted in previous years, sunny clear skies after a prolonged frontal system can cause a “flood gate opening” resulting in Oct 15 (10 monarchs), 16th (37) and 17th (30) making up the most of my season.
What I term the “nectar superhighway” of rail lines and power lines along and north of I85 were again the hot bed of activity. The rail line right of way that was sprayed with herbicides two years prior had still not recovered so had no nectar. This again further concentrated the monarchs on the other sites along I85.
Courtesy of Monarch Watch
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