Celebrating Citizen Science
September 22, 2016 by Elizabeth Howard

Who's watching monarchs — and what can we learn about migration from their observations?

Monarch Butterflies nectaring in an Iowa prairie

"Two female adults were released today at Indian Lake Central School, New York." By Daisy Kelley


Hats Off to Citizen Science
People across North America are telling the story of monarch migration. What details do careful observations reveal, and what questions do they raise?

On a Boat
The Wilson family discovered themselves in the midst of the migration on Tuesday.

"Our family is on a boat trip and currently traveling down Lake Michigan. Unexpectedly, we saw several monarchs early today and then started paying more attention. We counted 158 in 2 hours. They would flap like crazy with all their might, and then would glide for a bit." Read more...

When, where, and how did the monarchs get themselves into such a precarious situation?

From Shore
Edward Yandek watched in amazement as a parade of 1,000+ monarchs passed on September 16th.

"Starting at about 5:30 pm, we were sitting outside facing Lake Erie. Suddenly we saw wave after wave of monarchs coming along the lakeshore heading westward. This continued for at least an hour. There were successive waves." Read more...

Where did the butterflies come from and why were they so concentrated?

In the Backyard
Monarchs are scarce in the east this year, so this sighting from Massachusetts is remarkable:

"There were 100s of monarchs feeding on red clover on field behind our house this afternoon. I've lived here 30 years and never seen migration before!" Read more...

Why were the butterflies attracted to this clover field rather than the surrounding habitat?

At School
Many monarchs are heading to Mexico thanks to the work and care of students across the U.S. and Canada. Schools are creating butterfly habitat and raising monarchs.

"We were thrilled to see a monarch at Brookwood Elementary today!"

"My students are sharing the experience of the migration and the importance of stewardship."

Watching Monarchs
On a Boat
Wendy Wilson
From Shore
Edward Yandek
In the Backyard
Chris Purington

At School
Ann Stewart King


News from the Classroom
Share your monarch news #JNshare
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 2016 Monarch Butterfly Migration Map: Peak Migration Fall 2016 Celebrating Citizen Science with Monarchs
Fall Roosts
map | list | archives | animation
Peak Migration
map | list | animation
Next Update September 29, 2016