Our First Monarch News Update For 2023

January 6, 2023 by Team Journey North

Observers report monarch activity in southeastern and southwestern U.S. Estela Romero reports from Sierra Chincua Sanctuary. We welcome the year ahead graced by many monarch happenings.

First monarch observational report submitted in 2023. Photo: Coleen, Cape Coral, FL (01/04/2023)

Eastern Monarch Population

Monitor Overwintering Monarchs in Southeastern U.S.

During the winter holidays, please continue to report winter monarch sightings in the Southeastern U.S. from December through March. If you live in the Gulf states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida as well as Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, we want to hear from you. Learn more about how to participate»

Mary in Key West, FL: “5 or more adult monarchs feeding on Aesclepias currasavica at the Key West Botanical Garden.” (12/10/2022)

Amanda in Jacksonville Beach, FL: “Recently emerged from chrysalis seen in top photo. Amazed it survived the recent freeze last weekend.” (12/30/2022)

Jeanne in Bush, LA“We had freezing temps from 12/22-12/25. I was surprised to see a monarch flying around this morning. I happened to see one that had just come out of the chrysalis just before the freeze and I figured it would die. It might not be the same butterfly. This year I had lots of caterpillars in late November early December. No photo. My son just saw caterpillars on his milkweed in Lacombe, Louisiana today.” (12/29/2022)

Trixie in Pasadena, TX found one monarch in an unlikely place —basking on a fence line. (12/27/2022)

Island Monarchs

Lisa has submitted several observational reports from Palmarejo, Corozal, Puerto Rico. 

Letter From Estela Romero: Focus on Sierra Chincua Sanctuary

Are you wondering what is happening at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve? Estela Romero reports from Sierra Chincua Sanctuary. Monarchs are forming dense colonies. 

Read the Spanish version of Estela Romero’s letter»

Read the English version of Estela Romero’s letter»

And outside the Reserve? 

Armando in Estación Santa Engracia, Tamps.: “se observaron 6 monarcas 11:00 am volando, perchada y alimentándose a orillas de la presa Francisco I Madero de Hidalgo Tamaulipas, soleado y fresco con poco viento.” [“6 monarchs were observed 11:00 am flying, perched and feeding on the banks of the Francisco I Madero dam in Hidalgo Tamaulipas, sunny and cool with little wind.”] (12/31/2022)

Western Monarch Population

There were a flurry of observational reports submitted in December especially from volunteers in Arizona and California. 

Diana in Tucson, AZ: Christmas morning monarch sunning in my backyard cherry tree.” (12/25/2022)

James in Green Valley, AZ: “Dec. 17, 2022, Green Valley, AZ. @ La Posada Central Park Garden. I saw two males and 1 female from 12:50 - 2 pm. (54 - 58 degrees). All were 10 - 20 feet above ground basking in live oak trees. All in very good condition.” (12/17/2022)

Joyce in Mountain View, CA: “Today at Google we counted eleven monarch butterflies. It was 60 degrees and clear. Three (one shown here) were in a small grove of trees in a quiet corner of the block. The others were flying about the remaining milkweed.” (12/24/2022)