Monarch Migration News: October 1, 2015
By Elizabeth Howard
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A continuous stream of monarchs crossed Oklahoma on Tuesday and the migration is poised to enter Texas next.

Monarch Butterfly
Stacking up as they wait for a north wind in Bluff City, Kansas, by Leah Horsley

News: Off With the Wind
The leading edge of the migration surged into Oklahoma this week and reports of peak migration are now coming from across the state.

"After weeks of prevailing south winds, a mild cold front with light northerly winds has come through central Oklahoma. I saw approximately 200 southbound monarchs this evening between 5:45 and 7:00. They were at least 75-100 feet in altitude and appeared to be gliding effortlessly on their journey south. Here's wishing them fair skies, gentle winds and a safe journey."

— Patrick Bell  Edmund, OK  Sept. 29, 2015

Drifting Westward?
Two large roosts were reported from eastern Colorado, each containing hundreds of monarchs. Rarely are such large numbers reported from that state.

The overwintering sites in Mexico are at longitude 100°W. At longitude 103°W, the Colorado monarchs are west of their destination. (See map.) East winds during the past week seem to have carried a large number of butterflies westward of their usual pathway.

Energy Costs of Flight
Why is the wind such an important factor during migration? Glider pilot and scientist Dr. David Gibo discovered that soaring and gliding uses 25 times less fuel than flapping flight. Monarchs can save their precious fat reserves by using the wind.

Flight Study Results
A monarch with 140 mg of fat to burn could fly for:
44 hours Flapping

1,060 hours

Soaring & Gliding
Monarch Butterfly
Counting Cold Fronts
Monarch Butterfly
Colorado Roost

Dr. David Gibo

Conservation News
Newsy Documentary: Saving the Migration
"We can't stay the course we're on or we will lose the migration," warns Dr. Chip Taylor.

Monarch Butterfly Migration Video

Maps: Report Your Sightings
What to Report to Track Fall Migration Monarch Butterfly: Adult Sighted Monarch Butterfly: Egg or Larva Sighted
What to Report Adult Butterflies
map | list | animation
Eggs and Larvae
map | list
Monarch Butterfly Migration Map: Fall Roosts, Fall 2015 Monarch Butterfly Migration Map: Peak Migration Fall 2015 How You Can Help
Fall Roosts
map | list | archives | animation
Peak Migration
map | list | animation
Journal and Activities
Next Update October 8, 2015