Eastern Monarch Spring 2022 Report #5


Published: 04/27/2022

Overlapping Generations

Journey North volunteers are reporting monarchs with old and faded wings as well as first generation, fresh-winged monarchs. 

Kaitlyn in Springfield, MO: “[Monarch] looked worn and tattered, flew through my backyard.” (04/23/2022)

Elaine in Overland Park, KS: “”Fresh” male resting/nectaring in the sun at the top of a plum tree in full bloom. Other fruit trees in bloom around the yard but few other flower for nectar. Sunny and warmer after a windy, cold, rain spell.” (04/24/2022)

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. Are these monarchs finding sufficient milkweed and nectar sources? 

Karen in Springfield, IL: “1 female monarch seen flying onto flowering cherry tree for nectar. Wings appear intact though orange appears somewhat faded. This is the earliest sighting *for me* ever. None of my various types of Milkweed are showing any signs of growth yet but several trees and shrubs are flowering.” (04/21/2022)

Jeff in Hellertown, PA: “Earliest individual I’ve ever seen in this area. Female.” (04/22/2022)

Mary in Bloomington, IN: “Photo of faded female frantically flying around areas where my milkweeds have yet to emerge. Looks to be 1st generation, which is surprising for Indiana.” (04/24/2022)


Milkweed emergence remains behind last year’s pace but is fortunately still ahead of monarch migration.

Beth in Brockport, NY: “First new growth on my Swamp Milkweed, two little stems popping up.” (04/24/2022)

Eggs and Larvae

As the leading edge of monarch migration moves north, reports of eggs and larvae aren’t too far behind.

Jim in St. Louis, MO: “First monarchs today seen flying around me while planting, two laid many eggs, at least 30. These are the first of the season for me.” (04/23/2022)

Wayne in Alcoa, TN: “Have a number of eggs on my 20 butterfly mildweed plants, but just saw the first caterpillar today. Hope to see lots more!” (04/25/2022)