Large Roosts Observed in Mexico

October 17, 2019 by Team Journey North

Monarchs observed streaming into Mexico with peak migration still happening in central and eastern flyways.

“19:00 horas, perchas de aproximadamente 200 monarcas cada una en lo alto de los árboles, en la colonia Privadas de la Huasteca.” Photo and sighting by Omar Franco Reyes (Santa Catarina, NL; 10/14/2019) [Trans. “Roosts of approximately 200 monarchs each atop trees, in the Privadas de la Huasteca neighborhood.”]

Arriving to Mexico

Thanks to a deep partnership between Journey North and Correo Real, Journey North is fortunate to be able to report the arrival of migratory monarchs to Mexico. According to Rocío Treviño, Coordinadora, Programa Correo Real, PROFAUNA A.C., “Desde media mañana de hoy 16 de octubre estoy recibiendo noticias de los científicos ciudadanos del Correo Real ubicados en las ciudades fronterizas de Acuña y Piedras Negras Coahuila, reportando un gran flujo de monarcas (40 por minuto) en ambas localidades. Al parecer el frente frío que se presentó desde la media noche las empujó mas al sur. La temperatura bajó a 20°C, está el cielo completamente cerrado con lluvia ligera a ratos.” [Trans. ”From mid-morning on October 16, I am receiving news from the citizen scientists of the Correo Real located in the border cities of Acuña and Piedras Negras Coahuila, reporting a large flow of monarchs (40 per minute) in both locations. Apparently the cold front that appeared from midnight pushed them further south. The temperature dropped to 20 ° C, the sky is completely closed with light rain at times”]

From Acuña, Coahuila de Zaragoza: Roberto Enriquez reports on 10/10/2019 and again 10/14/2019 of monarchs crossing the Rio Grande 20-30 per minute from the US to Mexico over the Amistad dam near the city of Acuña, Coahuila. Link

From Santa Catarina, NLECarlos E. Carrera Treviño: 70 monarcas en 15 minutos en autopista Monterrey Saltillo km 96, después de la curva, bajando a pernoctar frente al Fracc. Privadas La Huasteca. Courtesy of Correo Real.” (10/14/2019)  [Trans: Carlos E. Carrera Treviño: 70 monarchs in 15 minutes on the Monterrey Saltillo highway km 96, after the bend, going down to overnight in front of the Fracc. La Huasteca private.] Link

From Santa Catarina, NLEOmar Franco Reyes: “Todos los días salgo en mi bicicleta y mi cámara a visitar el sitio de pernocta tradicional de las monarcas frente a la colonia Privadas de la Huasteca y hoy encontré que las perchas aumentaron a un promedio de 50 monarcas por racimo. Por lo que ya hay varios cientos en el lugar.” (10/16/2019) [Trans: “Every day I go out on my bicycle and my camera to visit the traditional overnight site of the monarchs in front of the Privadas de la Huasteca colony and today I found that the roosts increased to an average of 50 monarchs per cluster. So there are already several hundred in the place.”] Link

Observations of Peak Migration and Roosts Continue in US

Central Flyway: Peak migration hit central Texas with roosting along the US-Mexico Border. 

From Rockwall, TX: Mary described, “Monarchs are all over Rockwall, TX. 10 spotters from my Butterfly Brigade counted 236 in their garden or in one of our parks. Everywhere I drive they are in the air! (10/14/2019)

From San Antonio, TXJessica reported seeing “At least 100 (really, probably many more) at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. They were nectaring on a variety of different flowers in this 90-degree heat this afternoon. I did see one pair mating, but the rest seemed to be simply eating and resting.” (10/14/2019)

From Austin, TX: Tim reported, “A few small roosts [about 300] in the pecan trees by the Colorado river.” (10/12/2019) with an influx two days later, “More than I could count roosting on this tree near the butterfly garden as a storm approached this evening around 6pm. I would estimate at least 100+.” (10/15/2019)

From Big Bend National Park, TX: Cathryn noted, “Monarchs were flying all along the road from Rio Grande Village to Daniel’s Ranch. I saw several roost trees. The best were in the cottonwood grove at Daniel’s Ranch. [about 200] (10/12/2019)

From Plano, TXJoan described, close to “100 Monarchs nectaring on Blue Mist and Frost Weed.” (10/14/2019)

Eastern Flyway: Peak migration continued along the Blue Ridge Mountains and along the Atlantic coastal states of New York, South Carolina and Georgia.

From Townsend, TN: Stacey visited ”Cades Cove from 10-3:30 for a Monarch tagging event. We tagged 40+ Monarchs. I easily saw 60 others.” (10/13/2019)

From Fire Island, NY: Barbara wrote “On a gorgeous fall day with a moderate southerly wind with temps in the 60’s I spotted 585 Monarchs from 3 pm to 6:15.”  (10/12/2019)

From Pawleys Island, SCNicole counted approximately 100 along “Migration path after several cool overcast day. Bright sun and nice breeze helping today!” (10/10/2019)

Western Monarch Population

Journey North and Xerces Society team up to create a map of 2019 Western Monarch Verified Observations. Don’t forget to read Gail Morris’ article with up-to-date information on migration of the western monarch population. These and other resources are linked below. 

Keep Reporting to Journey North

Western Monarch Population News