Monarch Migration News: October 9, 2014
By Elizabeth Howard
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North winds swept the migration into Texas this week, and marked the beginning of peak season in the state known for the most spectacular migration of all.

Monarch Butterfly
Matt Irwin     Dallas, Texas     October 5, 2014

News: Migration Hits Texas!
"Right on schedule," said Texas monarch expert Mike Quinn as he reported 1,000 monarchs near Dallas.

A strong cold front dipped into Texas on Oct. 2nd, and north winds carried the monarchs down from Kansas and Oklahoma where they've been stalled for 2 weeks. Within 2 days, the migration's leading edge had jumped 300 miles southward all the way to central Texas.

People noted the monarchs' sudden arrival and watched the numbers build:

"About 11am there were ~30. By 2pm ~250! Beautiful autumn day, clear blue skies, 76 degrees, gentle southerly breeze. Magical! 10/04/114 Plano, TX 1412457695

South Wind Returns
The migration window had closed by October 4th when south winds returned. These conditions are predicted to stay for a week, so the monarchs will have to be content to hang around and feed. Gregg Lee noted how a south wind affects travel.

"South wind growing stronger throughout day. No successful directional flight. Any that went high were blown north rapidly. A few seemed to work south using trees and shrubs as windbreaks, but made little progress."

Too Late to Migrate?
Tagging returns show a monarch can fly 500 miles in 3 days when the wind is from the north. This fact can calm the fears of people in the north worried about late migrating monarchs.

"When is the last date we should be releasing monarchs into the wild?" asked 1st and 2nd graders in South Hero, Vermont.

Watch for a sunny day and a north wind. Release the monarch at mid-day when temperatures are warm enough for flight (55°F if cloudy; 50°F if sunny).

Monarch Butterflies in Overnight Roost
Gone with the Wind
Micky Louis

Monarch Butterflies nectaring on liatris in Texas
Sudden Arrival
Michael McDowell
Monarch Butterfly Video
Time to Refuel
Matt Irwin
Map of Tagged Monarch Recovery
500 Miles in 3 Days
Spotlight: Hello From Angangueo!
Estela Romero shares news from the overwintering region where people eagerly await the monarchs' arrival.

"With the help of children in my town, we'll be happy and proud to announce the first monarchs to reach their winter home."

Estela RomeroHello From Angangueo

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What to Report to Track Fall Migration

Monarch Butterfly: Adult Sighted Monarch Butterfly: Egg or Larva Sighted
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Monarch Butterfly Migration Map: Fall Roosts, Fall 2014 Monarch Butterfly Migration Map: Peak Migration Fall 2014 How You Can Help
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Next Update October 16, 2014