Streaming Out of Canada

September 28, 2017 by Elizabeth Howard

Excitement was in the air this week as monarchs moved in a steady stream along the shores of the Great Lakes and the Atlantic coast.

“I stopped counting at 1,700 but there were many, many more, mostly feeding on goldenrod and asters. Thrilling!” reported Teresa Carlin of Ajax, Ontario on September 21, 2017.

Great Lakes Show

A spectacular display along Canada’s northern shorelines delighted observers during an unusual stretch of very warm weather.

“Monarchs keep floating by, all going in the same westerly direction,” wrote Lisa Chartrand from Hamilton, Ontario on September 24th.

“Throughout the day, they were flying westwards through the downtown at mean rate of about 6-10 per minute, at different altitudes.  Wow, that’s many thousands of monarchs!” remarked Dr. Ewins of World Wildlife Fund - Canada from Mississauga, Ontario on September 23rd.

The peak migration map shows where the butterflies were concentrated and reveals migration pathways.

Atlantic Coast Parade

A procession down the Atlantic shoreline marked strong migration from Connecticut to New Jersey. Noteworthy was a September 24th report from the Long Island Sound:

“The wind had been strong from the north for the past week due to Hurricane Jose,” wrote Jeff Wieloch. He discovered thousands of monarchs nectaring on goldenrod when he kayaked 1/2 mile offshore to Charles Island.

The north winds likely blew the butterflies offshore, a hazard of shoreline travel.

Slow Advance Southward
The migration’s leading edge is crossing Kansas in a slow trickle as the animated map shows. In the week ahead we’ll be watching to see:

  • Will the butterflies now funneling out of the Great Lakes region join the leading edge in the Midwest?