Mass Migration in California
But Were They Monarch Butterflies?

What Does the California Expert Think?
We contacted Walt Sakai, Professor of Biology at Santa Monica College, to ask his opinion. He has been conducting research on monarch butterflies in California for nearly 20 years. Pay attention to the way he analyzes the situation. What words show that he remains opened-minded and skeptical at the same time? What evidence does he say he needs to confirm the reports?

What Does the "Painted Lady" Butterfly Expert Think?
We also contacted Dr. Royce Bitzer, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Iowa State University. He tracks the migration of Painted Lady butterflies in the way that Journey North tracks monarchs.

What Do the Michigan Students Think?
Ms. Gradowski's sixth graders in Bay City, Michigan were in class when the telephone rang. It was Ms. G’s sister calling from California while she was driving through a swarm of butterflies! What was their conclusion?
Newspaper Stories
Try This! Practice With Butterfly Identification
Here's a fun way to practice observation skills. Pull out your sketch pad and take a close look at these photos of a monarch, a painted lady, and other look-alike butterflies.
Danaus plexippus
Photo Jim Gilbert
Painted Lady
Vanessa cardui
Peter J. Bryant

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