Funneling into Texas
October 13, 2016 by Elizabeth Howard

All eyes are on the sky as peak migration moves into Texas. How high do monarchs fly — and how high can we see them?

Monarch Butterfly Migration

Students at St. Joseph Catholic School in Waxahachie, Texas counting monarchs on Monday.

Looking Skyward
The mass migration into Texas is now underway. People who look skyward are likely to witness the silent parade.

"While on the playground, our class saw 10 monarchs fly over within 20 minutes. They are moving south very fast!" reported Mrs. Colleps' 1st grade class from Waxahachie, Texas on October 10th.

Another cold front is pushing southward into Texas today, October 12th. Watch for a substantial influx during the next 2 days while the north winds blow.

Texas-bound Butterflies
Texas is the only state that all monarchs must cross on their way to Mexico. Butterflies moving down from northern latitudes are all heading there. The migration pathway is narrowing now, and the butterflies will become more and more concentrated.

More on the Way
Peak reports came in this week from North Carolina, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. The sighting from North Carolina's southeastern shore is remarkable. Monarchs are typically reported inland, along the Appalachian Mountains. Did Hurricane Matthew blow the butterflies to the ocean? Read more...

Oklahomans were reporting peak migration across the state:

"This is the most I've ever seen in my yard at one time in 10 years. It was like a massive convergence!" reported Laura from Tulsa, Oklahoma on October 6th.

"My brother said they were coming through as singles at about 1 per minute. Some were so high he could not have seen them without binoculars," reported Brush about a sighting in Milo, Oklahoma on October 7th.


Peak Reports

Monarch Butterfly Migration
In Texas with Queens
Melanie Schuchart
Monarch Butterfly Migration: 4,000 in Oklahoma
4,000 in Oklahoma
Melynda Hickman

Monarch Butterfly Migration: 2,000 in Tennessee
2,000 in Tennessee
Mike Hayes
Monarch Butterfly Migration
1,000 in North Carolina
Beth Rice
How High Can Monarchs Fly?
There is a large gap overhead where monarchs can travel and we can't see them. Journey North tracks migration based on visual observations, so questions about the height of flight are important.

How could you measure the height and distance at which monarchs are no longer visible?

Teaching Suggestions

Monarch Butterfly Migration

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 Fall Temperatures and Monarch Migration
Fall Roosts
map | list | archives | animation
Peak Migration
map | list | animation
Next Update October 20, 2016