Closer to Spring Migration

February 18, 2021 by Team Journey North

Estela Romero, Ellen Sharp, and Ana Moreno share news from monarch sanctuaries in Mexico. Gail Morris provides a Western monarch update. And with cold weather gripping much of North America, please report any monarch activity to Journey North.

Fluttering monarchs at La Cañada, Mexico. Photo by: Ana Moreno

Letter From Estela Romero: Contrasts at the Sanctuaries

At El Rosario and Sierra Chincua, Estela Romero highlights some differences between the two sanctuaries and senses migration is not far away. She writes, “Sierra Chincua and El Rosario have become, over time, a contrast in terms of behavior and population at this point of the season within the last few years … it seems that at any moment they [monarchs] could fly down in mass to head north! We are holding our breath wondering when this will occur.”

Read more of Estela Romero’s Letter: Contrasts at the Sanctuaries (English Version)

Leer más de la carta de Estela Romero: Contrastes en los Santuarios (Versión en español)

Letter From Ana Moreno: Visiting La Cañada

At Cerro Pelón Sanctuary, Ellen Sharp introduces Ana Moreno, a guide for JM Butterfly B&B. Ana is the first female guide at Cerro Pelón, and she was kind enough to write a guest blog where she details her work and recent visits to a ravine called La Cañada. As Ellen notes, “In the male-dominated business of butterfly guiding on Cerro Pelón, she [Ana] became its first female guide, paving the way for other women to start working at our entry.”

Read more of Ana Moreno’s Letter: Visiting La Cañada (English Version)

Leer más de la carta de Ana Moreno: Visitando La Cañada (Versión en español)

Letter from Gail Morris: Western Monarch Winter Report 

In her first letter of the winter season, Gail Morris reflects on the California overwintering population counts and stresses the importance of reporting monarch activity to Journey North. She writes, “When the results of the Xerces Monarch Thanksgiving and New Year counts were announced, we were devastated to learn how badly the California overwintering monarch population had been shattered … Keep your phone or camera with you on your walks to document any monarch activity and report any sightings.”

Read more of Gail Morris’ Letter: Western Monarch Winter Report

Call to Action – Report Monarchs in the Southeastern U.S.

Thank you to all who have participated in our targeted monarch butterfly monitoring project:

Mary in Corpus Christi, TX: “We have one adult Monarch flying around in the yard today. It is windy and I couldn’t get it to land long enough to take a picture. I can’t help wondering if it was leaving Mexico to go north?” (02/10/2021)

The recent cold spell that has gripped much of North America could have consequences for overwintering monarchs in the Southeastern U.S. During the rest of February, please report any monarch activity to Journey North. Your observations will contribute to research efforts on overwintering behavior and how monarch butterflies respond to extreme weather events.

Learn more about What to Report and view our Instructional Flyer.