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Monarch Butterfly Migration Update: September 16, 2005

Today’s Update Includes

Latest Migration Maps
Click for live maps and read what each observer saw!
(Then Make Your Own Map in the classroom )

Migration Sightings
Sightings of Overnight Roosts PEAK
Migration Sightings

Highlights From the Migration Trail
"Amazing!" "Wow!" "What an incredible sight!" came the word from the Midwest on Wednesday as this fall's first classic cold front swept across the region. Here's a selection of the reports we received:

09/14/05 Mequon, WI (43.21 N, -87.95 W)
On the western shore of Lake Michigan there was "a passage of over 500 monarchs migrating south along the lake from 11:15-11:45 am. An amazing half hour!"

09/14/15 Alamo, MI (42.30 N, -85.70 W)
"Monarchs flying south from 3:30 to 4:30 pm at about 1 per minute. They were flying low over treetops and then dropping down to fly low over a 55 acre restored prairie planting..."

09/14/05 Elmhurst, IL (41.89 N, -87.94 W)
"Seven monarch butterflies were spotted within a 30 minute time period by our class in a neighborhood in Elmhurst, IL. The winds were blowing at 10-15 mph. The time of day was late afternoon, around 4:00 pm."

09/14/05 Omaha, NE (41.26 N, -95.93 W)
"As I was standing outside of my workplace on 9/14/05 at about 10:00 a.m. I saw approximately 100-150 monarchs flying south. They would come in groups of about 10-20, with many flying solo or in groups of 3-4."

09/14/05 Lincoln, NE (40.81 N, -96.71 W)
"We had 74 monarchs sighted flying through our backyard in one hour."

9/14/05 Lewistown, MO (40.81 N, -96.71 W)
"WOW! In our rural town park at about 7:15 pm, after a wonderful cold front came through bringing a north breeze, several HUNDRED monarchs! It was an incredible sight!"

Who Saw the Strongest Migration? "Migration Rate Math"
Read the comments above carefully and calculate the migration rate for each observation. Then answer:

Challenge Question #3
"How many monarchs per hour did each observer see? Which observer saw the strongest migration on Wednesday? Which observers, if any, were missing information you needed? Explain."

To respond to this Challenge Question, please follow these instructions.

Migration Rate

Monarchs per hour (or monarchs per minute)

What's the Migration Rate Passing Over You?
When you watch monarch migration, keep track of the number of monarchs you see AND the length of time you are watching. Please include the migration rate when you report your observations. Here's a fall migration data sheet to guide your observations:

Who Will See the Record Flight in Fall 2005?
As more and more monarchs funnel toward Mexico this fall, the numbers flying overhead will become greater and greater. Which lucky people on the ground below will see the most spectacular migration? Let's see! Hereafter, we will include the week's most impressive sighting in our weekly updates. When and where do you predict monarch migration will be strongest in fall 2005? Record this fall's record observations on this data sheet.
  • Who Will See the Record Flight in Fall 2005? Data Sheet

Migration Rate Math: Practice Worksheet (and Answers!)
Here's a chance to practice calculating the migration rate using sample observations. Put the observations in order, from most to least. (Then check your answers.)

How to Report Your ObservationsReport Your Sightings
Put your monarch news on the map! Please send reports of monarchs flying, feeding, and resting. When you report your observations, include wind speed and direction, as well as the migration rate. When you're ready to report, see:

The Next Monarch Migration Update Will Be Posted on September 23, 2005.


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