Migration Update: September 14, 2007
Please Report
Your Sightings! >>

Today's Report Includes:

  • Classroom in Action and Migration Rate Math: >>

How much farther must these monarchs fly? >>

The Migration: Maps, Questions and Highlights



Distribution Map >>

About these maps >>


Make your own map >>

Map Questions >>

Highlights: Heavy Weekend Traffic

Monarchs soared into Nebraska over the weekend and landed in Hastings, Lincoln, and Giltner, Nebraska on the very same night. Sunday night roosts appeared suddenly like this:

9/9/07 Giltner, NE
"What an incredible sight to witness. We became an airport with Monarchs flying in from every direction, landing in only one of our many ash trees. Twenty seven years living here on our acreage in Giltner, NE., and this has been our first of such a gathering."

9/9/07 Prairie City, IA
"I think the heavy weekend traffic was driven by a strong cold front and a letup in the rain," wrote Bob Woodward from Prairie City, Iowa, where he saw 403 monarchs in just 3 hours. "Both weekend days had heavy activity."

More Monarchs on the Way
Butterflies continue to pour down from the north. Peak migration conditions were reported at several "hawk watch" sites. On the north shore of Lake Erie people were astonished by the numbers:

9/11/07 Port Stanley, ON
"Ruby-throated Hummingbirds continue to zip through in small numbers. The real highlight today was the 100's if not 1000's of Monarchs that were taking shelter in the trees surrounding the hawk-watch. They were everywhere!! Between the Monarchs and the hundreds of large dragonflies it made spotting the birds very challenging at times."

Heading to Mexico!
It's remarkable to watch the monarchs move down the map. They're truly heading toward Mexico, by instinct alone! Students in Rochester, New York used the roost map to predict the monarchs' arrival. (See their answer to Challenge Question #2 below.)
Here's an animation of the roost map for you to view:

Classroom in Action >>

This fall, students at Rama Central Public School in Washago, Ontario, will compare monarch migration to whooping crane migration. Monarchs migrate to Mexico by instinct alone. The cranes must learn to migrate. They'll follow their "adoptive parents" ultralight planes.

Comparing Migrations:
Learning or Instinct?

Migration Rate Math

As the monarchs funnel toward Mexico, the numbers overhead become greater and greater. Each week we collect sightings so you can keep track and compare them.

Who will see the record flight for fall 2007?

Let's see!

Slideshow: Nectar and Migration: Finding Food Along the Way   >>

This week, take a close look at monarchs who have stopped in a garden to eat. Where do they find the food they need and why must they hurry?

Explore the challenges monarchs face when fall is coming and the flowers are fading.

Slideshow >>

Challenge Question #3:  

This week's question:

  • Why is nectar so important to monarchs during their fall migration? Why must the monarchs hurry?

To respond: Write in your journal and send us your answer for possible inclusion in next week's update.

Answer to last week's question

Challenge Question #2 >>

Links: This Week's Monarch Resources
  • Orientation: Welcome to new participants! >>
  • Go Outside! Watch how monarch butterfly habitat is changing!>>
  • Migration Rate Math: Who will see the strongest migration this fall? >>
  • Monarchs for Kids (booklets, photos, videos) >>
  • Book and Slideshow: The Magic of Monarch Migration >>
More Monarch Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Monarch Migration Update Will Be Posted on September 21, 2007.