Monarch Migration Update: May 21, 2009
Please Report
Your Sightings!


Today's Report Includes:

Photo by Raul Gonzalez

A Magnified Monarch Wing! >>

The Migration: Highlights, Maps, and Questions



Journal Page
How Far North Will The Monarchs Migrate?

Migration Highlights

Here They Come!
This is the week we've been waiting for! Monarchs are popping up all over the map — in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Ontario, Wisconsin, and even the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

There were two clear signs this week that a new generation of monarchs is on the wing: 1) Fresh-winged monarchs with vivid colors began to appear and 2) The number of sightings increased dramatically. (There were 40 sightings this week compared to only 18 the week before, and an observer in Iowa saw 4 monarchs in a single day.)

Everybody was talking about the crazy weather. Record cold temperatures were followed by record heat. Frost was followed by temperatures that felt like "July in May." It was that warm air mass with its strong south winds that sent the monarchs northward.

Also noteworthy:

  • This week's northernmost monarch was reported at latitude 46 north where milkweed is just beginning to emerge.
  • Two new states greeted monarchs this week. Can you find them? (Their names are Atosennim and Awoi spelled backwards!) Prediction Chart

Strong south winds this week

Sue Fox-McGovern

A first monarch in Illinois on Wednesday

Frost in Vermont on Monday
News from Mexico: Back to School After Sanitary Emergency

After waiting three weeks for the danger of influenza to pass, schools reopened in Angangueo and across Mexico this week. Estela Romero reports that everybody is healthy and eager to get back to the regular routine.

"It was a little boring to spend all these last 20 days at home. We took care of our sheep and helped our parents to do some house work, but sometimes, we just got bored," said a boy.

Here is Estela Romero's report:

Can Kids Get the Flu From Symbolic Monarchs?
With good reason for concern, several teachers have asked whether the symbolic monarchs could spread the flu virus. According to the Center for Disease Control website, studies have shown that influenza virus can only survive on environmental surfaces and infect a person for up to 2-8 hours after being deposited on the surface.

Students wash their hand before entering school.

Symbolic Migration: Are Yours on the Map?

Has anyone found your symbolic butterfly yet? There are now 11,633 children's butterflies on the map, waiting for their makers to discover them. Have you told the world whose butterflies you've received? Join the fun!

Year-end Evaluation: Please Share Your Thoughts! >>

Please take a few minutes to complete our Year-end Evaluation. With your help, we can we document Journey North's reach, impact and value. We need comments like yours to keep the program going and growing.

Thank you! >>

Year-end Evaluation

Links: Monarch Butterfly Resources to Explore
More Monarch Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Monarch Migration Update Will Be Posted on May 28, 2009.