Waiting for First Arrivals

November 1, 2018 by Elizabeth Howard

The first monarchs are expected any day! "We are holding our breath..." reports Estela Romero from the sanctuary region deep in central Mexico.

Children with their monitoring chart in Mexico’s monarch butterfly sanctuary region.

A Bit Delayed, But on the Way

As everyone waits for the monarchs’ mass arrival, Estela and friends in the community are monitoring daily. She went across town and asked everyone she encountered whether large numbers of monarchs had arrived.

”No, not yet, Estela…” they said. More…

Tradition says the first monarchs arrive by November 1st, Mexico’s Day of the Dead. “The arrival of the monarchs symbolizes our ancestors’ souls returning to Earth for their annual visit,” says Estela. Our records show the monarchs are remarkably consistent, though sometimes a little late.

Oct 27 (2017), Nov 1 (2016), Nov 3 (2015), Nov 26 (2014), Nov 6 (2013), Oct 29 (2012), Oct 20 (2011), Oct 26 (2010), Nov 5 (2009)

About 15 miles south of Estela, Ellen Sharp reports from the Cerro Pelon Sanctuary.

“Still no sign of monarchs here, but our eyes are very much peeled.” More…

Now Within 300 Miles

All eyes are skyward as the migration approaches the sanctuary region.

  • 300 miles north of the sanctuaries in Nuevo Leon, a continuous flight of 90-100 monarchs per minute was report to Correo Real on October 31st.
  • 150 miles north of the sanctuaries in San Luis Potosi there were 16 monarchs nectaring on mullein flowers, also on the 31st.
  • 100 miles north of the sanctuaries in Guanajuato: “None yet, but we are on the lookout,” wrote Eugenia who reported hundreds last year on October 29th.

When do you predict they’ll arrive? We’re ready to share the news!