May is at the doorstep. At this time of the season, migration is a story of overlapping generations. Monarchs from overwintering populations are nearing the end and their offspring are beginning to advance into summer breeding territories. Be on the lookout and report your monarch and milkweed observations to Journey North.
Eastern Monarch Population
Eastern Monarch Spring 2022 Report #5
Journey North volunteers are reporting monarchs with old and faded wings as well as first generation, fresh-winged monarchs. The leading edge of migration is hovering latitude 39-40°N, very similar to where it was at this same time last year. But the slow pace of milkweed growth due to a mostly cool spring has some Journey North volunteers worried for early-arriving monarchs. The good news is that milkweed emergence remains ahead of monarch migration. And as the leading edge of migration moves north, reports of eggs and larvae aren’t too far behind.
Western Monarch Population
Letter from Gail Morris: Western Monarch Spring 2022 Report #5
Gail Morris highlights how monarchs at each stage of the life cycle are being spotted throughout California and parts of the Southwest. Gail writes, “Many Community Scientists reports were filed this week in a variety of categories offering us a multidimensional snapshot of the spring migration in progress across the Southwest. Soon these long-lived, aged adult monarchs will reach the end of their lifespan but there will be a trail of eggs and immatures left behind. We’ll see a lull in sightings until a new generation ecloses. Be sure to check nearby milkweed thickets for hidden monarch eggs, larvae and pupae”.
Keep Reporting and Include Photos!
May is almost here and migratory activity is picking up! Report observations of monarch adults, monarch larvae, monarch eggs, and milkweed to Journey North. If possible, please include photos (one photo per report). Photos help verify reports and we enjoy sharing them with our Journey North community.
Monarchs can be difficult subjects to photograph. One potential workaround is to take a video and then extract a screenshot to use as a photo. Give it a shot!