Monitoring Habitat While You Wait
Spring Monarch Habitat Observations

Long before the migration begins, begin to watch how the monarchs' habitat changes. First, go outside and inspect their habitat in the dead of winter. Then monitor the same site once each month -- and later more frequently -- leading up to the monarchs' arrival in the spring. On each visit, use this checklist to record the date, photoperiod & temperature; look for milkweed and sources of nectar. Each time you visit the habitat, predict when you think milkweed will emerge, when the first flowers will bloom and the when the first monarch will arrive.

Date of Observations

Record today's high, low and average temperatures. Is there snow on the ground? Is there still frost on the ground in the mornings?

Find last summer's milkweed stalks, now brown and dead. Inspect the ground underneath carefully and watch for the first milkweed shoot to emerge. As soon as you see the first shoot, check the plant regularly for eggs and larvae.

Nectar Sources
Watch for the first flowers of spring. (Look up! Trees are the first plants to bloom.)

My Predictions Date
First Milkweed  
First Flower  
First Monarch  

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