Saturday, 27 July 2019

It's monarch season!

I tagged them last year, but none appear to have been found. I was a bit late ordering them.
My 2019 tags arrived this week. Here is last year's tag.

There was a press conference in Mexico City last winter. The butterfly sanctuary numbers came in. They estimate their populations by how much of the forest is covered by butterflies. They had the highest recorded since 2006: 14.9 acres of forest was covered in butterflies, a record high and an increase of 144%!

There has been both good and bad news about North American Monarchs. Monarchs have two separate populations, one in the west, and ours in the east. Our eastern ones have had a population increase. The ones in the west, wintering in California, are at risk.

They lay about 300 eggs.  We await the next 3 generations over the summer months, May to September, when the final supergeneration flies back south to live over our winter season.

Our first monarch appeared, Sunday, June 9th. I've been peeking at the milkweed, they only lay eggs on milkweed, although they eat the nectar of many plants, and found nothing.

First one! 10:45 a.m. July 24th
6:49 p.m., July 24th, the first one had moved,
and I found another egg!

This is where they are laying their precious eggs, right beside the front step.

Another egg.

I've been tracking their progress up the continent through Journey North: Monarch Watch. They travel 5000 km, above ground about a 1km, to conserve energy. Early May, the first generation landed in places like Texas, where they laid eggs for a new generation.
May, 2019
Only 1% survive from egg => butterfly.
First ones migrate to Texas, laying eggs on milkweed.
500,000 million eggs!
May 24
May 30

This is a fascinating video: 

CBC The Nature of Things - The Great Butterfly Hunt

The remarkable and most incredible Monarch migration, and the determined Canadian scientist, Fred Urquhart, who spent 40 years trying to discover exactly where they mysteriously disappear to for winter.


eileeninmd said...


I love your Monarch image. I am glad they are doing well in your area.

I have only seen one in my yard so far. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend! PS, thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog.

Nancy J said...

They are true survivors to fly so far. Down here the monarchs go to areas that have tall trees and are warmer in the winter, nearer the coast. They hang in huge numbers near a pine plantation a long way further north from us.

Karen said...

I have SO MANY Monarchs in the yard this year! And caterpillers. I don't capture caterpillers anymore, having heard that butterflies raised to adulthood in captivity can't survive the migration.

RedPat said...

I've seen a lot of Monarch Butterflies for the last few weeks!

Cloudia said...

Thank you for sharing tis marvel with us, J!

William Kendall said...

They need all the help we can give them.