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Habitat While You Wait
Monarch Habitat Observations
before the migration begins, begin to watch how the monarchs' habitat
changes. First, go outside and inspect their habitat in the dead of winter.
Then monitor the same site once each month -- and later more frequently
-- leading up to the monarchs' arrival in the spring. On each visit, use
this checklist to record the date, photoperiod & temperature; look
for milkweed and sources of nectar. Each time you visit the habitat, predict
when you think milkweed will emerge, when the first flowers will bloom
and the when the first monarch will arrive.
Record today's high, low and average temperatures. Is there snow on
the ground? Is there still frost on the ground in the mornings?
Find last summer's milkweed stalks, now brown and dead. Inspect the
ground underneath carefully and watch for the first milkweed shoot to emerge.
As soon as you see the first shoot, check the plant regularly for eggs and
Watch for the first flowers of spring. (Look up! Trees are the first
plants to bloom.)
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