Monarch Migration News: April 28, 2016
By Elizabeth Howard

No longer their brilliant orange, the monarchs from Mexico are nearing the end — and a new generation is about to continue the journey north.

Monarch Butterfly Nectaring in Texas
Now about 8 months old, this faded monarch found a fresh flower in Glen Rose, Texas.

News: Few and Far Between
For the past 5 days, strong south winds have been blowing out of Texas. Although ideal for swift travel, only scattered sightings have been reported. A single butterfly appeared in Indiana, 300 miles ahead of the pack.

"I saw one flying about 5 feet off the ground. The butterfly was a bit beat up, suggesting a journey," noted the observer from Nashville on Sunday.

Nearing the End
There are not many northbound butterflies right now, despite ideal flying conditions. This means the generation from Mexico is reaching the end. What a generation it was! In over 20 years of tracking spring migration, we have never seen so many monarchs in Texas with such severely damaged wings. Presumably survivors of the March storm in Mexico, these tattered butterflies flew hundreds of miles to their breeding grounds. Thanks to the images people have contributed, we can document this amazing feat.

Reproductive Potential
As we say goodbye to the overwintering generation, think about the eggs they have laid across the landscape during the past 6 weeks.

How many eggs can one monarch lay? Dr. Jim Edson captured a monarch in Arkansas one spring and counted the eggs she laid during the final month of her life. This chart shows the daily egg count.

First Monarch Butterfly Sighting from Kansas
First for Kansas


Monarch Butterfly with Tattered Wings
How Many Eggs?
Report Your Sightings
Monarch butterfly migration map Map of milkweed emergence: Spring 2016 Monarch butterfly migration map
First Adult
report | map | list
report | map | list
Monarch butterfly migration map Monarch butterfly migration map

After first sightings, continue to report all monarchs — adults, eggs, and larvae.

Monarch butterfly migration map

First Egg
report | map | list
First Larva
report | map | list

Evaluation: Share your thoughts!
Please take a few minutes to complete our Annual Evaluation. With your help, we can document Journey North's reach, impact and value. Thank you!

Journey North Evaluation
Next Update May 5, 2016