Monarch Fall Roost
Sightings report image

Date: 09/07/2018

Number: 1000

The Lake Erie islands had a strong Noreaster move in, to the point that the ferry boat captains warned passengers that they would likely be cancelling ferry service for Saturday evening and Sunday due to 10 foot waves on Lake Erie and the storm surge. We had to leave our car on the mainland, and journeyed over to South Bass island. My wild-collected monarchs have been eclosing the last 2 days, so I was expecting a surge in adult activity. The storm revealed their presence, as I found 1000 monarchs taking refuge on the leeward side of the trees at the South Bass Island lighthouse grounds. This is the largest number I have documented here in 5 years, and I have never seen them roost in this particular location on the grounds. But it was a perfect location, warm and sheltered from the 20-30 mph winds. I found the roosts by following 2 monarchs that were nectaring in the adjacent sunflower field. They flew to the trees, and I followed them as they flitted along the trees looking for a place to roost. They flew over to the other side of the trees, I pursued them, and as I rounded the tree line I was greeted with hackberry and maple trees filled with clusters. More photos here

Put-in-Bay, OH

Latitude: 41.6 Longitude: -82.8

Observed by: candy
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