Early Arrivals into Mexico

September 30, 2020 by Team Journey North

Migratory monarchs were reported in Mexico, and activity remains high along the central flyway and is building along the eastern flyway.

"Nectaring on sunflowers, then flying to rest/roost in north side of hedgerow along south side of sunflower field. Monarchs cover the trees like leaves . . . The hedge row is a half mile long and there were monarchs all along the hedgerow roosting in the trees." Photo: Linda (Walton, KS; 09/25/2020)

Eastern Monarch Population

Monarchs Sighted in 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. Rocío Treviño, founder and coordinator of Correo Real, recently shared two reports that may well signal the beginning of migratory monarchs entering Mexico. While only four to five monarchs were seen in each report, the numbers will greatly expand as migration continues – stay tuned!

Roberto Carlos Armendariz Ulloa in Acuña, Coahuila de Zaragoza: "Hoy observe en 15 minutos a 4 monarcas, unas apareándose y otras buscando donde dormir." [Translation: "Today I observed 4 monarchs in 15 minutes, some were mating and others looking for a place to sleep."] (09/26/2020) 

Lety Avendaño Vázquez in Acuña, Coahuila de Zaragoza: "En 5 minutos observé a 5 mariposas Monarca en la Presa La Amistad, 4 buscaban percha y una se alimentaba, eran las 7 de la tarde de un día soleado y caliente 34°C ¡Bienvenidas a México!" [Translation: "In 5 minutes I observed 5 Monarch butterflies in the La Amistad Dam, 4 were looking for a roost and one was feeding, it was 7 in the afternoon on a sunny and hot 34 ° C day. Welcome to Mexico!"] (09/26/2020) 

Peak Activity and Roosts Along the Central Flyway

Lisa in Allen, KS: "Roosting on North side of Oak, Cedar and Pine trees. 5PM. Plenty of nectar based plants: goldenrod, black-eyed susans, sunflowers, ironweed and aster." (09/24/2020)

Diane in Enid, OK: "At the rate of 10 going by per 5 seconds, I still think I underestimated the count. It was an amazing experience being flown over and flown around like an island in this steady stream of southbound monarchs." (09/25/2020)

Jen in Hartman, AR: 189 monarchs sighted. "I counted for an hour, between noon and 1:00pm. They were headed Southwest, and were anywhere between ground level and probably around 30 feet up or so." (09/29/2020)

Migration Building Along the Eastern Flyway

Reports are coming in that indicate migration is building along the eastern flyway (the eastern flyway often lags behind the central flyway in timing of migration).

Kim in Wake Forest, NC: "Explosion of caterpillars. Fourteen chrysalis found in the yard." (09/28/2020)

Julia in Mount Mitchell, NC: "There were many Monarchs feeding on the flowers on the side of the road leading up to Mount Mitchell, it was a wonderful sight." (09/29/2020)

Western Monarch Population

On their way!

Small numbers of monarchs are continuing to appear as they move towards the overwintering grounds in California and Mexico in the West this week. The largest number of monarchs are in California and they are still breeding. 

Mary in Yuba City, CA: "Adult Monarch, first one this year." (09/26/2020)

Kari in Patagonia, AZ: "[Monarch] feeding on common sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)." (09/24/2020)

This week temperatures will warm as monarchs continue to move towards their overwintering destinations. Remember to take your camera when you are traveling or on a hike or even in your own backyard. Thank you for reporting all your observations – every sighting helps all of us see the bigger picture of monarchs in the West.

Read more of Gail Morris' Western Monarch Fall Report #5...

Watch for Migratory Monarchs

Watch for signs of migratory monarchs:

  • Flying in directional flight
  • Clustering in overnight roosts
  • Nectaring intensely 

When you see a monarch, we want to know. Please report your observations to Journey North and thanks for all you do on behalf of monarch migration tracking!