Monarch Migration News: June 9, 2016
By Elizabeth Howard

With migration almost complete, the milkweed patch is the place to be. Egg-laying females are looking for milkweed, and males are looking for females.

Monarch Butterfly in Milkweed Patch
"Male sighted in a large milkweed patch—patrolling, nectaring, and just waiting..."
Carol Pasternak   Vaughan, Ontario

News: Nearing Northern Limit
Another 51 sightings were reported this week, as the migration continued to expand into the breeding range.

  • A clear wave moved into Ontario and first-for-state sightings were reported from Montana, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
  • The easternmost monarch at longitude 71°W means the population has reached 2,500 miles from Mexico.

For 3 months, monarchs have been traveling in pursuit of milkweed. They're nearing milkweed's northern limit in the central flyway now. In the east, they'll travel another 500 miles as far as Canada's Maritime provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. This map shows how far north milkweed grows — and the northern extent of migration.

Eggs on Milkweed
The butterflies are getting down to the business of breeding. Egg reports increased dramatically during the past 2 weeks, with 45% of the season's sightings submitted. Among the easternmost reports was this from Connecticut:

"My first monarch was on wild rose bushes and went straight to the milkweed to deposit eggs. Beyond excited!" wrote E. Dwyer from Branford.

Males in Milkweed
Male monarchs don't lay eggs, so why is milkweed habitat such a good place to find a male?

Monarch Butterfly Annual Cycle in your region
Nearing Northern Limit
Xerces Society
Monarch Butterfly Egg
All in the Egg
Jim Ellis

Male Monarch Butterfly in Milkweed Patch
Male in Milkweed
Stacey Whetstone
Explore: Egg on Milkweed

A photo can inspire deeper levels of observation. When you look at the monarch egg on milkweed, what do you see? What do you wonder?

Journal Page and Weekly Journal

Monarch Butterfly Egg
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

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

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Next Update June 16, 2016