Eastern Monarch Spring 2022 Report #7


Published: 05/11/2022

Migrating Monarchs

Along the East Coast, monarchs are making slow progress north and the leading edge of migration has somewhat stalled since last week, although monarch eggs were reported in Massachusetts. In the Midwest, it is a different story: strong southerly winds are pushing monarchs as far north as Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Southern Ontario. Explore our Monarch Adult (FIRST sighted) map to track migration and view the latest observations.

Reports from previous years show a pattern with a typical surge occurring during the second half of May. With more first spring generation monarchs soon to be on the wing, keep cameras at the ready to capture this potential migration surge. Keep an eye on the wind and temperature map as well.

Susan in Oronoco, MN: “Today we had crazy blasting 60 mph winds from the Southeast all day—I wonder if this monarch got a massive tailwind to arrive so early? He/she looked a bit worn from the flight. Spring is so late this year, I hope it finds enough nectar. I have just hung out many baskets of petunias, fuchsias, and other flowers at least, and a few wildflowers have started to blooming the past few days. My northern lights magnolia is finally blooming today - have never seen a monarch on it because usually it is so early, but maybe she will find those flowers.” (05/09/2022)

Steve in Mounds View, MN: “Flying through yard, around 6:20 pm. Strong south wind most of the day. I am a professional entomologist.” (05/09/2022)

Emily in Bayside, WI: “Two adult monarchs sighted near Lake Michigan in Bayside, WI. Current flowering plants include blue bells, bloodroot, trout lilies, and liver leaf.” (05/10/2022)

Donald A. in Leamington, ON: “Submitted by Don Davis: Noted Ontario field naturalist and birdwatcher, Steve Laforest, reports spotting one fresh monarch in Point Pelee National Park on May 10, 2022. Steve was surprised to see one this early. He has been birdwatching for a few days at Point Pelee.”

Christine in Livonia, MI: “First female and she egg bombed my milkweed.” (05/11/2022)

Eggs and Larvae

Monarch eggs are not far behind the leading edge of migration. Some Journey North volunteers are noting how early it is to find eggs.

Suzanne in Hamilton, MA: “My few tiny milkweed stalks are loaded with eggs! Very concerned about the caterpillars being able to find enough food this early.” (05/06/2022)

Sam in Urbana, IL: “This is the earliest I’ve seen a monarch [egg] in central Illinois” (05/08/2022)

 Monarch larvae remain slightly farther south than monarch adults and eggs.

Brad in Hesston, KS: “Multiple caterpillars 1/8 - 1/4 inch long appeared to just emerge. Only one had started to feed on milkweed already.” (05/10/2022)


The milkweed emergence line continues to move north into Canada. The northernmost report is from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

 Ian in Winnipeg, MB: “White Swamp Milkweed just popped through the soil surface today.” (05/06/2022)