The Journey South Has Begun

August 14, 2023 by Team Journey North

Time to think about the fall migration. During August, the monarch super generation will emerge and start their migratory journey south. 

" ...A block from Lake Elmo State Park where there are milkweed plants. This monarch was landing on our cone flowers. It is the first ... so thrilled to see one here in Montana."
Photo: Heidi in Billings, MT (08/09/2023)

Here Comes the Migratory Generation

Monarch numbers reach their peak by fall migration. At no other time of year is the population as large as it is now. Monarchs produce four generations during the typical breeding season and the population grows with each new generation. By mid-month, the first members of the migratory generation will emerge in the north. These butterflies are the great-great-grandchildren of the monarchs that left overwintering sanctuaries along the coast of California in the United States and the Monarch Biosphere Reserve in central Mexico last spring. This generation has a long and challenging life ahead: they will migrate to their overwintering locations this fall, survive the winter, and return to their breeding territories in spring 2024. 

Roosts Reported

Monarch roosts are starting to be reported by Journey North volunteers. All of the roosts reported thus far are in the U.S. state of Minnesota.

Doug in Barnesville, MN: "Saw roosts of 31, 35,42 and 55 Monarchs at 7:00 PM. There was also an estimated 120 more on various small bushes and dead branches. Wind is light north and 72F. Saw many of these Monarchs milling about the same area about 4:00 PM today. This is a Cottonwood grove in the middle of a 15 acre prairie remnant. A good number of Meadow blazing star blooming here, did a burn this spring. Very early for roosts but this has been a different year, most plants advanced growing wise." (08/09/2023)

What to Report

When you see a monarch, we want to know. Please report your observations of monarch adults, eggs, larvae, and roosting events. Start now — and continue to report until you see your last monarchs of the season. Fall migration is about to begin!

What to report»