February Is Here: What Are Monarchs Doing?

January 31, 2024 by Nancy Sheehan, Program Coordinator

Estela Romero explores the captivating world of monarch butterflies while chilly conditions continue at the MBBR. If you happen to spot winter monarchs in the Southeastern or Southwestern U.S., share your observations with Journey North.

“I’ve been spotting Monarchs, both male and female, all through November. December, and now January. Just one at a time. Sample photo attached.” Photo: Dean in Jacksonville, FL (01/06/2024)

Monarchs Overwinter in Southeastern U.S.

Journey North encourages volunteers to report winter monarch sightings in the Southeastern U.S. from December through March. If you live in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, we want to hear from you. Read our instructional flyer and report your observations to Journey North. 

See Instructional Flyer.

Your observational data will be used to assess how the geographic distribution of monarchs might be changing. Are monarchs resting, nectaring, mating, laying eggs, clustering? This information will allow us to better understand what proportion of the winter population of monarchs in the southeastern U.S. are breeding versus wintering in a non-breeding state. 

This targeted study is a collaborative effort involving several partners, including the Georgia DNR, Monarch Across Georgia, and the University of Georgia Altizer Lab. 

Yumi in Gainesville, FL: “It was an unusually warm day in Gainesville FL today, and in the early afternoon, I spotted an adult Monarch butterfly in my backyard, happily flying.” (01/27/2024)

Sylvia in Pearland, TX: one monarch was observed. (01/25/2024)

From the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve

Estela Romero writes “ Amid the towering, dense forests and canopies, our enchanting migratory companions seemed to have found refuge from the freezing temperatures that gripped the region for weeks. However, the recent emergence of a breathtaking cascade of monarch butterflies, just about 200 meters downhill in the familiar La Virgencita spot, has transformed the landscape…” Read more:     

Letter from Estela Romero: Marvels Unfold at El Rosario and Sierra Chincua Butterfly Sanctuaries

Carta de Estela Romero: Se desarrollan maravillas en los santuarios de mariposas de El Rosario y Sierra Chincua

More videos have been added to Journey North’s YouTube channel. Enjoy scenes from the Sanctuaries.

Playlist: 2023-2024 Overwintering Season at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Mexico

Thank you!