Monarch Migration Update: October 18, 2012
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Your Sightings!
Report Your Sightings
Where are the monarchs? Texas should be in peak migration but so far the show is slow. We're waiting to see if the monarchs from the east appear there soon! The new IMAX film Flight of the Butterflies is a must-see. Mexican President Calderón endorses the film and explains the importance of monarch conservation.

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week
Flight of the Butterflies

A Must-see!

News: Texans Looking Skyward
Where are the monarchs?
Texas is the gateway to Mexico for migrating monarchs. Most years it's the best place to be. However, these sample sightings convey the flavor of this year's passage. Some people are seeing the migration, but others are not:

"This fall season, I have only seen 3 monarchs. My husband and I have spent every day for the past week sitting out in our backyard looking up." 9/16/12: Mary Kennedy, Fair Oaks Rance, TX.

"They're here! I think the rain caused a fallout. I watched this afternoon and the clusters have just kept growing." 9/15/12: Carol Cullar, Eagle Pass, TX.

"Today was the biggest Monarch flight day of the fall here so far, a constant light stream for several hours of passage.  I'd say I saw at least 500 Monarch marching southbound.  I spotted some up a thousand feet, and higher, at the limit of binocular spotting." 9/15/12: Mitch Heidel, Utopia, TX

Watch the Texas coast!
Keep your eye on the migration map. Peak migration should hit the Texas coast soon. Remember all those monarchs coming from the east? Let's see if they appear along the Texas Gulf coast. The timing would be just right according to long-time observer Harlen Aschen's rule-of-thumb:

"Our rule has been that the big flow will start after the first front that passes through on or after October 21st."

Monarch butterfly roost in Eagle Pass, Texas
Small for Texas
Image: Carol Cullar

Monarch butterfly with worn wings.
Worn Wings
Image: Mitch Heindel

Peak Migration Comparison Maps
Compare Years
Hello from Mexico: No Monarchs Yet!
"Every afternoon, Jocelyn, Roberto and I check for signs of monarchs arriving to our region. Today, we filled in the graph with our one-week observations for you. No monarchs yet!" says Estela Romero.

  • Follow Jocelyn and Roberto to school this week in English and Spanish reports.
The Migration: Maps and Journal Page
Watch for monarchs that are flying in directional flight, resting at overnight roosts, or refueling at flowers in fields, gardens, or roadsides.


Seeing Monarchs?
Report Weekly!
When you see a monarch, we want to know about it.
Monarch Butterfly Migration Map: All Sightings, Fall 2012 Monarch Butterfly Migration Map: Peak Migration, Fall 2012

Journal: Too cold to fly?

All Sightings
(map | animation | sightings)
Peak Migration
(map | animation | sightings)
The next migration update will be posted on October 25, 2012.