Monarch Migration News September 25, 2014

The Atlantic Ocean is directing the migration now in the east. Monarchs hug the coast as they travel southward, trying to avoid the winds that can carry them out to sea. On a Long Island beach, these butterflies found safety at the water's edge.

Monarch Butterfly
Barbara Becker
News: Traveling Down the Atlantic
The Atlantic Coast is about to become a major migration flyway. Northwest winds are beginning to push New England's butterflies coastward. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut reported peak migration this week — so watch the wind map and the butterfly parade that follows.

"The monarchs were following the path of the Atlantic Ocean! In less than 5 minutes I saw 6 butterflies. This is the most in two years."
September 23 Rye, New Hampshire

"The monarch was flying through the parking lot in a straight line at our school. It was flying in a southerly direction. We think it was migrating!" September 17 Blessed Sacrament School Holyoke, Massachusetts

Central Flyway
The spectacular Great Lakes migration continued this week. Although numbers are finally beginning to fall, an impressive migration rate of 140 monarchs per hour was recorded. Michigan's Grosse Pointe Academy was among those who saw peak numbers:

"While walking to recess we spotted 50 monarchs on our butterfly bushes!" September 17

Peak migration is now approaching in Kansas, and first roosts have appeared in Oklahoma. Roost sizes are small so far in the region, containing an average of 100 butterflies.

After such a strong showing in the northern Great Plains, these smaller sightings are surprising. Have the persistent south winds during 5 of the last 7 days held them back? Let's see if numbers rise in the week ahead.

Monarchs on Radar?
National Weather Service radar picked up unusual signals northeast of St. Louis last Friday and meteorologists suspected migrating monarchs. What questions need to be answered before conclusions can be drawn?

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Peak Migration Seal Harbor Maine
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Bonnie Chase
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Migration Flyways
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Monarchs on Radar?
National Weather Service
Maps: Report Your Sightings
What to Report to Track Fall Migration Monarch Butterfly Migration Map: Fall Roosts, Fall 2014 Monarch Butterfly Migration Map: Peak Migration Fall 2014
What to Report Fall Roosts
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Peak Migration
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Monarch Butterfly: Adult Sighted Monarch Butterfly: Egg or Larva Sighted How You Can Help
Adult Butterflies
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Eggs and Larvae
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Next Update October 2, 2014