Eastern Monarch Fall 2022 Report #1


Roosts Activity

Monarch Roosts Hugging the Great Lakes

Darlene reporting from two locations along Lake Erie, reported:

At Seacliff Park, Leamington, just north of Point Pelee National Park: “[About 600] monarchs at sunrise…Sunrise was at 7:05 with 20°C temps. I arrived around 7:10 and many monarchs were already flying around. Partly cloudy with light southerly wind. As in past years, clusters on 10 different trees of oak and maple at north/central end of the park. About 450 in clusters and another 150 flitting about…not yet leaving. Largest clusters of 75 and 94. Numerous clusters of 20, 25, 30; 4 through 20 plus the larger. They roosted at 10’-30’ up mostly on N-northeast sides of trees. All looked pristine.” (09/10/2022)

At tip of Point Pelee National Park: “From 6:20pm to 8:10pm with 22°C temps mostly sunny with NNE wind…observed about a dozen monarchs nectaring on Woodland sunflowers. Further down on tip there were numerous monarchs flitting about in the interior trees. Individuals and clusters of 2 were on bare branches & Hackberry trees about 8-15’ up. At 7:45pm to 8:10pm there was a big rush of monarchs coming in from the north and from the SW over the lake. Quickly established over & near west path clusters of 3, 5 & 7 [for an estimated counted of 80 individual monarchs].” (09/07/2022)

Opal reporting from Pennisula Point near Rapid City, MI wrote:

“[About 300 monarchs] gathered for about 5 days just inland from Peninsula Point. Winds were mostly from the SW, or ESE on the peninsula. They nectared and roosted in the same area…lots of sunshine, plenty of food, (Joe Pye Weed, Asters, Boneset, and Golden Rod), and plenty of dense cedar trees. Night temps were mid 50’s to 60’s. I actually counted them while they were feeding in the ditches, around 1-3 pm, but watched them go in on private property right close. Same count for a couple of days. As expected, they flew into the point on Sep3rd on a N wind. Usually, they would leave from the point, and fly over to the Door Co. Peninsula in WI. However, they wouldn’t leave. They eventually meandered back to the same spot they were. They left SW from this spot on the 4th…towards the SE shores of the UP of Michigan.” (09/03/2022)

Opal continued to report on this roost while monarchs were present.

“Continued N winds and scattered rain showers in area…100 arrived by mid to late afternoon (300 left earlier in the day). They did not leave on 9/12…rain most of the day/evening. Roosted in the cedars for second night. Expecting them to leave on 9/13…NW winds and un.” (09/11/2022)

And Roosting Along the Rivers

Reuben in Toulon IL noted: “Tuesday evening we had 150-200 roosting in our trees. Our neighbor probably had similar numbers. They are attracted to the 120-acre Buckwheat field. They feed on the Buckwheat flowers during the day. We have several other fields of Buckwheat of 100 acres each that the butterflies are also feeding on and roosting around, as well as several alfalfa fields, so actual count is much higher.” (09/06/2022)

Michael in Napoleon, OH reported seeing: “The largest roost yet [of 700 monarchs]. Maybe due to cloudy, cool, breezy weather? Two large groups and many individuals. One group is pictured here.” (09/13/2022)

Peak Migration Hot Spots

New Jersey Audubon Cape May Bird Observatory staff and volunteers predict peak monarch migration to begin soon along the east coast:

Bob in Cape May Point, NJ reported: “54 monarchs…Largest count to date. Based on past experience and with a cold front due to cross the area, this could be the start of the fall migration.” (09/12/2022)

Deborah in Ontario, NY reported: “1001 monarchs counted! Sunny start warmed the morning, the monarchs were moving through 25 to 40 feet up, east to west, along the south shore of Lake Ontario. We counted many times during the day, 8 to 16 monarchs a minute, all day long. It was a glorious day, bright sun in the morning, high clouds moved in early afternoon, a touch humid, 64% with a light breeze, from the southwest. Just above the tree line- soaring, gliding, and winging their way to the west until 7 PM. Many more came through this morning, same direction but it is cloudy, and rain has started by 11:30 AM. (09/10/2022)

Eggs, Larvae and Chrysalises 

Sara in Glen Rose, TX: “Found on antelope horn milkweed midday. Adult monarchs in the area daily recently.” (09/13/2022)

Claudia in Millstadt, IL: “Have 23 chrysailses, 7caterpillars. Having fun!” (9/02/2022)

Roberto in San Benito, TX: “Found [this chrysalis] under back porch patio bench.” (09/06/2022)

Texas Action

Lisa in Fort Davis, TX: “We’ve had constant, steady rainfall for two weeks, with temperatures in the low 70s. This monarch was nectaring at an Aloysia gratissima (Beebrush or Whitebrush shrub), Sept. 1, at 3:24 p.m., along the driveway at the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and Botanical Gardens near Fort Davis, Texas. Tall milkweed was nearby. I didn’t see any eggs on the milkweed but will check for eggs again today.” (09/01/2022)

Manuel in Marathon, TX: “About 10-20 adult butterflies spotted on 9-10 Sep 2022.” (09/10/2022)

Keep reporting! Thank you. 

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