Monarch Watch This Week

Monarch butterflies are migrating south for winter. If you’re in Texas, go on a walk and watch for monarchs as they fly south. To see if monarchs might be flying near you, check out this map of recent monarch sightings.

Two-way migration

image courtesy of the US Forest Service

Like birds, monarch butterflies migrate south for winter, then return north in the spring. Monarchs are the only butterflies to make a two-way migration like this.

Daytime travel

Monarchs travel only by day. At night, they roost together at congregation sites. The monarchs stay close together to keep warm.

Light as a feather, heavy as as 2-year-old

An individual monarch weighs less than a paperclip, but tens of thousands can cluster together in a single tree. The combined weight is so heavy that branches sometimes break.

Other resources

Live butterfly garden: experience the butterfly life cycle at home or in a classroom.
Lesson Plans. Monarch Lab has some free monarch butterfly lesson plans customized for grades K-2, 3-6, and middle/high school.
Butterfly life cycle model: set of detailed life cycle figures.
Questions about monarchs. Dr. Oberhauser answers a plethora of fascinating questions about monarchs.