Migration Update: March 12, 2009
Please Report
Winter Sightings! >>

Today's Report Includes:


Here come the Monarchs! >>

News from Mexico: Here Come the Monarchs!

The colonies at the overwintering sites are breaking up and spring migration is underway! Dr. Calvert witnessed the monarchs' restless movements in, around, and from the colonies:

"There is hardly anything that dazzles more than the simultaneous falling of tens of thousands of butterflies from a roost—as if gravity suddenly pulled with extra force..."

Monarchs on the Move!
by Dr. Bill Calvert

The Migration: Highlights, Maps, and Questions




Journal Page

Highlights: Spring Migration is Underway!
The first migrating monarchs are now being reported from the Mexican states of Michoacan, Querétaro, and Coahuila. Monarchs have even crossed the border into Texas according to reports from over a dozen observers. Here are a few early March sightings.

March 1: "We were on a picnic in the mountains east of Zinapecuaro, Michoacan. During the afternoon I must have counted 20 to 40 Monarchs in the air. The location is about 70 direct air miles west of Angangueo."

8 marzo: "Hoy a las doce del dia observé a una mariposa monarca, volaba como a 8 metros del suelo, aleteaba vigorosamente pues soplaba viento del norte (4 Km/h) Se veía muy descolorida. Es la primera que observo en su regreso al norte." Rocio Trevino, Correo Real, Saltillo, Coahuila

March 10: "Hundred of monarchs were sighted flying over San Jaun de Rio, Querétaro, today around 12:00." Noami Suss

March 3-10: "Monarchs have been sailing through Mission, Texas, for a week (~March 3-10). Not in great numbers, but a few each day."

Reading Reports from Citizen Scientists
Journal page / Teacher tips

Each week, choose a monarch sighting that gives you an insight or raises a question. Record your thoughts in your journal.

Slideshow: Spring Migration, A Race Against Time >>

Spring migration begins every March in a flurry. The monarchs are in a race against time. They can't stay in Mexico any longer — but they can't move north too quickly either. The timing of the monarch's spring migration must be precise. Why do they go now, and how do they know when to leave?

Slideshow >>

Journal Question: Why Go Quickly—But Not too Quickly?

Read today's slideshow, then answer...

This Week's Journal Question:
  • Name two reasons monarchs need to leave Mexico quickly in the spring. Name two reasons that should not come north too quickly.

As you track the migration this spring, look for the many time-sensitive connections between monarchs, climate and the seasons.

Please Report Your Sightings!

  • Please report your sightings. >>
Links: Monarch Butterfly Resources to Explore
More Monarch Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Monarch Migration Update Will Be Posted on March 19, 2009.