Monarchs Sighted in Great Lakes Region

May 22, 2019 by Team Journey North

A Flurry of Reports!

“Feeding on dandelions beside road.” Photo by: Pam (Menomonie, WI; 05/20/2019)

New Monarchs Now Sighted As Far North Great Lakes Region

There has been a flurry of reports from Journey North observers in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan and along the Canadian coasts of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

New England observers are reporting monarchs. No reports from Maine and New Hampshire. Stay tuned!

From Washington Island, WI: Eric saw a male monarch resting shoreline of Lake Michigan. (05/20/2019)

From Au Gres, MI: Kathryno observed a busy monarch “partaking of the flowered wild shrubs along the jetty that extends into Lake Huron.” (05/23/2018)

From Chicago, IL: Steve “saw 3 adult Monarch butterflies on nature path on south side. Two male, one female.” (05/19/2019)

From Durham, CT: Dianec “saw my first monarch in Durham, CT today on the milkweed in my new meadow! She laid many eggs! So excited-this is the earliest sighting for me ever. (05/18/2019)

From Windsor, Ontario: Cherika observed “Female monarch, depositing eggs on our milkweed patch.” (05/18/2019)

Milkweed and Nectaring Flowers 

People reported monarchs nectaring this week on many different flowers, including dandelions. As these reports show, adult monarchs can eat nectar from a wide variety of flowers. They are generalists. In contrast, monarch larvae are specialists. Monarch larvae can only eat milkweed. 

For adult monarchs, nectar is important during migration as well as during the breeding season. Female monarchs produce hundreds of eggs and travel widely in search of milkweed. Males fly across the landscape in search of females, patrol patches of milkweed, and produce energy-rich spermataphores to deliver to females during mating.

Do some research to find which nectar-rich flowers grow best in your region. Pay attention to flowering dates so you can provide nectar for monarchs from the time they arrive in the spring until they migrate south in the fall. Monarchs need milkweed, but they need nectar plants too.

Numerous Egg Sightings Along Milkweed Trail


Journey North observers have sighted eggs and larvae all along the Milkweed Trail. 

From Winnipeg, Manatoba: Kimberly noted, “First sighting of swamp milkweed (both pink and white appear to be up).” (05/18/2019) more


Keep Report Your Butterfly Sightings!