The 20th annual Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration is about to begin. Children in the US and Canada are invited to create ambassador butterflies for students who live beside the monarchs’ winter sanctuaries in Mexico. Postmark deadline: October 9, 2015
Mexican students hold ambassador butterflies with El Rosario monarch sanctuary in the background.
As migration winds down, the milkweed patch is the place to be. Egg-laying females are looking for milkweed, and males are looking for females.
Spring migration is almost complete. The population has now expanded from 3 acres of winter habitat in Mexico into 1 billion acres of breeding habitat in the US and Canada. How many generations will the monarchs produce this summer where you live?
The grandchildren of the monarchs from Mexico are developing now. How many generations will this summer yield?
Watch out for imposters! How can you tell?
Eating and growing, today’s monarch caterpillars will soon be northbound butterflies. Here comes the next generation.
A monarch lays an egg in your garden. What happens next?
No longer their brilliant orange, the monarchs from Mexico are nearing the end of their travels. A new generation will continue the journey north.
With milkweed paving the way, the leading edge of the migration is now 1,500 miles from the overwintering region in Mexico. How do monarchs find the milkweed they need for egg-laying?
Migration enters Texas! The monarch parade began on Sunday and continued all week. What will this latest-ever arrival mean for spring production?
March 26, 2015
At last — here come the monarchs! Estela witnessed a mass departure on Tuesday, with north-bound butterflies filling the sky over Angangueo. These monarchs carry the seeds of the next generation.
March 18, 2015
Weather delays! We’re still waiting for the mass exodus from Mexico and first arrivals in Texas.
March 12, 2015
Mating is reaching its peak as the monarchs get ready to head north to the breeding grounds. Mass departure from Mexico is imminent.
March 5, 2015
Activity is reaching fever pitch. Within the month monarchs will vacate their winter haunt and begin the recolonization of North America.
February 26, 2015
There’s a flurry of activity now as thirsty monarchs break out of their clusters in search of water. This is the beginning of colony break-up in advance of spring migration.
February 19, 2015
Spring is approaching for monarchs in Mexico, but last week’s hail storm provide that winter’s not over yet.
February 12, 2015
The monarch’s winter home in Mexico is surprisingly cold. Temperatures often fall to freezing! Why do monarchs migrate to such a cold place?
February 10, 2015
U.S. Government Pledges $3.2 Million for Monarch Conservation!
February 5, 2015
Monarchs from across the continent are now clustered by the millions in a small region of Mexico. This year, half of the monarchs are concentrated in only one of the 12 overwintering sites. How does this year compare to previous years?
January 27, 2015
This year’s monarch population is second smallest ever, 80% below the historic average. There are 57 million monarchs compared to a long-term average of 300 million. Half of this year’s monarchs are residing in only one of the 12 traditional sites.
Monarch numbers seem to be rising!! But, one important point is to plant native, not tropical, milkweed, which stays lush into the fall, confusing the Monarchs. “Butterfly enthusiasts shouldn’t feel bad for planting tropical milkweed, monarch researchers say. But they should cut the plants back in fall and winter. Or even better, replace them with natives. There are native plant societies across the country that can offer advice.”
November 6, 2014
It’s official! The first colony — containing several thousand monarchs — was discovered in the Sierra Chincua Sanctuary on November 2, 2014. “Faithful to their cultural and ancestral tradition, the monarchs have begun to arrive in their overwintering palace in Mexico,” reports Biologist Felipe Martínez Meza.
October 31, 2014
“The first monarchs of the 2014-2015 overwintering season have reached their mountain home in México! At 6:35 pm this evening at full sunset, three monarchs were flying about in the core of El Cerrito Forest, likely preparing to rest for the night in the soft pines having just completed their long journey south.” —- Estela Romero, Michoacán, México. October 30, 2014.
October 30, 2014
The first monarchs are expected to reach their winter home any day! Traditionally they arrival by November 1st, Mexico’s Day of the Dead. “The arrival of the monarchs symbolizes our ancestors’ souls returning to Earth for their annual visit,” says Estela Romero.
October 23, 2014
After funneling across Texas for over two weeks, the monarchs are entering northern Mexico now and traveling the final 500 miles of their journey. Large concentrations are raising hopes for a population rebound.
October 9, 2014
North winds swept the migration into Texas this week, and marked the beginning of peak season in the state known for the most spectacular migration of all.
October 2, 2014
After nearly two weeks of south winds, the leading edge of the migration hasn’t moved south of Kansas. To the delight of people watching, monarchs continue to come down from the north and are stacking up as they wait for a north wind.
September 25, 2014
The Atlantic Ocean is directing the migration now in the east. Monarchs hug the coast as they travel southward, trying to avoid the winds that can carry them out to sea.
September 18, 2014
Unseasonably cold temperatures this week shortened daily flights, but the monarchs pressed on.
September 11, 2014
People counted monarchs roosting by the hundreds, feeding by the dozens, and flying overhead at rates up to 16 monarchs per minute. Comparative counts reveal migration pathways — and are pointing to a larger population this year.
September 4, 2014
Mobbing favorite nectar sources and resting at overnight roosts, migration is approaching its peak in the north central region. This year’s large numbers are a hopeful sign.
August 5, 2014
The magnificent migratory generation is developing now. Watch for signs of southward movement in mid-August.
Buckhorn Lake State Park Butterfly Garden Report
Click here to read about the success of Buckhorn Lake State Park’s Butterfly Garden, and see before and after photos!
Breeding is in full force now, and the population is growing with each new generation.
Please report monarch adults, eggs, and larvae and tell us how many you are seeing.
June 19, 2014
Tracking continues! Maps reveal key breeding habitat. Please report your first monarch egg, larva, and adult.
June 12, 2014
Three months into the migration, the monarchs have now spread across 1 billion acres into prime breeding habitat.
June 5, 2014
With breeding season in full force now, monarchs need nectar to fuel their active lives. We can’t just plant milkweed. We have to plant nectar plants, too!
May 29, 2014
A dramatic increase in monarch eggs reported this week brings a hopeful start to the breeding season in the north. Where on the milkweed plant does a monarch lay her eggs, and why does it matter?
May 22, 2014
Sightings doubled this week as monarchs sailed into the Upper Midwest. Dr. Chip Taylor is watching for prospects of recovery.
May 15, 2014
Sailing on south winds, monarchs advanced into 4 new states and our first Canadian province. Those from Mexico are fading away, but one remarkable female made it to Indiana.
May 7, 2014
With wings to the wind, the monarchs are about to fly swiftly into new northern territory. Look closely at the wings that can carry them so far.
May 1, 2014
The first monarchs of the new generation are now appearing! Watch for sightings to surge as the butterflies reach their northern breeding grounds.
April 24, 2014
The monarchs from Mexico are nearing the end of their journey, and a new generation will soon take their place. The wings of butterflies that overwintered in Mexico are typically faded, tattered, or torn. Observers are watching for fresh-winged monarchs now, a sign that the next generation is appearing.
April 16, 2014
In honor of Earth Day, share the monarch’s remarkable story to inspire your community to protect milkweed and nectar-rich habitats.
April 10, 2014
Following spring milkweeds, monarchs are quickly spreading across their southern range. The population that occupied only 1.65 acres of winter habitat have now expanded into over 200 million acres of breeding habitat.
April 3, 2014
The monarchs are moving across Texas in full force now, and hundreds of thousands still remain in Mexico. This week, several unexpected sightings have raised valuable questions.
March 27, 2014
Here come the monarchs! The first wave of migrants has entered Texas and millions more are on their way.
March 20, 2014
Here come the monarchs! Estela witnessed a dramatic departure last Thursday. Now, observers along the migration trail are waiting to report first arrivals.
March 13, 2014
We’re waiting for news of the mass departure from Mexico and of the first migration sightings in the north. Monarchs at El Rosario Sanctuary are widely dispersed now, but several clusters remain.
March 6, 2014
There’s a flurry of activity as thirsty monarchs break out of their clusters in search of water. The journey north is about to begin!
February 27, 2014
As the end of the overwintering season rapidly approaches, important changes are taking place. Mating has begun and fat reserves are running low.
February 20, 2014
With migration set to begin within the month, people are rallying on behalf of the monarchs
February 13, 2014
Nearly 90% of this year’s monarch population occupies only 2 of the 12 overwintering sites. Explore monarch distribution in Mexico’s sanctuaries and consider the implications.
February 6, 2014
The number of monarchs in Mexico has plunged to a new low, with only 1.65 acres of forest covered with clustering butterflies.
The announcement arrived at 10 pm today: “They first monarchs are here! They were majestically flying over our town, not looking in the least affected by the very bad weather we have had in the last days.” Estela Romero, Angangueo, Michocán, México
October 31, 2013
The first monarchs should reach the overwintering region any day. The arrival is tied to Mexican traditions, culture, and seasons.
October 24, 2013
The migration is crossing into Mexico now. Although it’s their first migration, monarchs follow routes previous monarchs have flown.
October 17, 2013
It’s peak migration in Texas, and migrants are still pouring down from the north. Can late-season monarchs make it to Mexico?
October 10, 2013
Long-awaited north winds swept the migration into Texas, and a late peak occurred at northern latitudes.
October 3, 2013
The migration made a clear push southward this week. Estela Romero says people in Mexico are eager for the monarchs’ arrival.
September 26, 2013
According to Journey North, Monarch picked up noticeably during the past week, as north winds carried monarchs southward. This week, take a look at the stopover sites monarchs use to rest and refuel:
September 23, 2013
- Monarch Premigration Migration – What is it? Have you seen any? They could be laying eggs in your yard today! Click here for a fascinating article from Wild Ones.
- Click here to link to A Way To Garden.com’s article, A Precarious Time for Monarchs and Their Migration.
September 13, 2013
UK/LFUCG Arboretum Director Marcia Farris and Gcky President Joanna Kirby at the newly certified Monarch Waystation at the Arboretum
September 9, 2013
Follow this link to an article about monarch butterflies. It was written by Lexington’s Wild Ones Chapter President’s son, Gabriel Popkin. He has done a great job of evoking a world made much poorer by the lack of this beautiful creature. However, as Gabriel tells us, if we keep planting milkweed, we can help. Let’s do it!