Monarch Migration Update: November 1, 2012
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The massive arrival has begun! It's one of nature's great miracles. Monarchs find a place on the planet where they have never been. This week, explore how the monarchs' arrival is connected to Mexican traditions.

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week
They're Here!
Image: Estela Romero
News: Monarchs Arriving at Winter Home!
On the way home from school on Monday, Estela and the children discovered hundreds of monarchs. After weeks of waiting and carefully recording zero sightings, they could officially declare the monarchs' arrival.

"We welcome the butterflies to their Mexican home!!!" Estela Romero writes this week.

Sightings Nearby
Two more observers confirmed arrivals at the monarch overwintering region. Thanks to Rocio Trevino of Correo Real for forwarding this news!

"On Sunday, one observer saw 33 monarchs per minute flying near Angangueo. Another saw five monarchs near the Sierra Chincua Sanctuary," reports Eligio Serrano Garcia.

South of the Border
Correo Real's network of observers monitors migration across Mexico. This week's Cold Front #8 finally carried more butterflies into the northern states of Coahuila and Nuevo Leon.

"Did Monday's sighting of 501 monarchs in 20 minutes in Nuevo Leon represent peak migration from the Texas central flyway?" wonders Rocio.

Texas Coastal Flyway
After seeing 60 monarchs in 20 minutes on Sunday the Aschens reported from Port Lavaca, Texas:

"The Coastal Migration of MONARCHS has begun across Lavaca Bay!"

Regions to Watch
This maps shows the three key regions we're continuing to watch. We hope to see signs of monarchs from the east heading to Mexico. With so few monarchs from the Midwest this year, the overwintering population may be at an historic low.

Arrival Day
Arrival Day
Image: Estela Romero
Map: Location of monarch butterfly overwintering region in Mexico
Overwintering Sites
Roosting Monarchs in Coahuila
Roost in Coahuila
Video: Correo Real

Regions to Watch
Regions to Watch

Slideshow: The Arrival and Mexican Traditions
The first monarchs arrive at their winter home in Mexico each fall by the first of November. People connect the arrival of the monarchs with two events that take place in Mexico at the time; the corn harvest is a seasonal event and Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a cultural event.

  • How are Mexico's traditions connected to the arrival of monarchs? This week's slideshow explores that essential question.
Monarch's Arrival and Mexican Traditions
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


All Sightings
(map | animation | sightings)
Peak Migration
(map | animation | sightings)
The FINAL migration update will be posted on November 8, 2012.