Journey South News: Fall 2010

Posted Thursdays: Aug. 26, Sep. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4....or weekly until the first monarchs arrive in Mexico!

Roosting Monarchs: Preparing for Take-off

FINAL Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: November 11, 2010
We ushered the monarchs across the continent, and together we told their story. They flew overhead, rested overnight, and feasted on flowers as they traveled. The monarchs are arriving in Mexico now, and we end the migration season with a key question: How many monarchs made it to Mexico, and how is the population faring?

What holiday are Mexicans celebrating when the monarchs arrive?

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: November 4, 2010
"The monarchs are truly arriving now," exclaimed Estela Romero on Tuesday from her hometown of Angangueo. Tens of millions of monarchs are flying toward the region now, on time for their traditional arrival. What makes this region so special for monarch butterflies?

Monarch's winter home in Mexico, Angangueo, Michoacan

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: October 28, 2010
"It's official!" says Estela Romero. The first monarchs have reached their winter home in Mexico. Meanwhile, it's peak migration across northern Mexico as the butterflies funnel homeward. This week, explore the possible pathway monarchs take. Why does Dr. Calvert say it's "delightfully confusing"?

Ameyaltzin (age 3) and friend look at the monitoring chart.

New Flash: First Monarchs Sighted at Overwintering Region!
Today Estela and Fernando Romero drove to El Cerrito, the hill above their town where the monarchs usually appear first. Suddenly, Fernando shouted, "There is the first one, Estela!" Welcome to Angangueo, Monarchs! (Bienvenido a Angangueo, monarcas!) Look at the monitoring chart now!

Fall monarch habitat on US/Mexican border in Texas

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: October 22, 2010
The migration has entered Mexico, but it has been a quiet passage so far. Meanwhile, monarchs are moving along the Gulf coast in unusually large numbers, and should funnel their way into Texas next. Will cold temperatures across the north stop the remaining monarchs in their tracks? This week, explore the relationship between flight and temperature.

Tagged monarch recovered in Georgia

Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: October 14, 2010
The week was surprisingly quiet. After spectacular sightings to the north since August, why has the migration been so slow so far in central Texas? Are the monarchs still coming or have they slipped by? Also this week: Read true stories about tagged monarch butterflies, and explore what tagging can reveal about monarchs and their amazing journeys.

Scientists report monarch 120 miles out at sea. Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: October 7, 2010
The migration moved into Texas this week, and a strong wave hit the Gulf coast states. Scientists found one wayward butterfly at sea. What happens when butterflies are blown over the ocean, and how is coastal habitat critical for those lucky enough to return?
Ridge Lift: The Appalachian Mountains provide 'ridge lift' for migrating monarch butterflies. Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: September 30, 2010
With north winds at last, "bursts of butterflies" advanced down the Central Flyway. In the east, monarchs traveled along the Appalachian Mountain ridges where rising air currents carried them aloft. Monarchs are creatures of the air. How much do they weigh and how does wind affect them?
Toronto skyline: Monarch butterflies were sighted from a 22nd floor office building here. Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: September 23, 2010
A migration of historic proportions took place along the Atlantic coast last week, and the leading edge of the migration entered Kansas. Read the first weekly news report from Angangueo, Mexico. Also, find out how high monarchs fly, and how high we can see them. These facts are important. After all, we're tracking migration based on visual observations.
Monarchs coming to roost at Owen Point, Lake Ontario Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: September 16, 2010
The spectacular migration of fall 2010 continues! The monarchs are giving a great show in the Great Lakes region, and have begun a clear advance down the Atlantic Coast. In the Midwest, the wind is holding the butterflies back, but get ready for that to change. Monarchs must avoid many hazards to survive their long migration to Mexico. This week, find out how two hazards—large bodies of water and storms—influence when and where monarchs travel. Photo: David Bree
Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: September 9, 2010
Excitement filled the air this week. Cool temperatures arrived and people saw waves of monarchs leaving. "Monarchs are flying in from the east, over our garage, and heading out of sight toward the west," exclaimed one woman in Michigan. "We counted 150 in 45 minutes!" How many monarchs can you count in an hour? Find out how to compare the pace of migration in different places by using standard units of measurement.
The Fall Roost: What makes them so hard to study? Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: September 2, 2010
"In the evening just before sundown, hundreds of monarchs were spotted flying between tree tops before settling down for the night." Monarchs rest during migration at overnight roosts, and people are delighted to discover them. Mapping the locations of these roosts can reveal the monarch's main migration pathways to Mexico. This week, find out what we know about this intriguing migration behavior, and the important role citizen scientists play in gathering information. Photo: Peter Rasberry
Monarch butterflies at overnight roost during fall migration Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: August 26, 2010
They're off! Flying, resting, and refueling, the monarchs are on their way to Mexico and excitement is in the air. Please watch for monarchs that are flying in "directional flight," resting at overnight roosts, or refueling at flowers in fields, gardens, or roadsides. We begin the season with a puzzle: what makes monarchs born at this time of year so special? Find out as you explore the highlights of the monarch's annual cycle. Photo: Pat Swerkstrom

Welcome and Orientation
Beginning Thursday, August 26th, weekly FALL MIGRATION UPDATES will be posted here every Thursday, from September to November. (See schedule above.)
Get ready to track the migration to Mexico. Find out how to report your sightings and track the migration on real-time migration maps. More...