Friday, August 20, 2010

Are You Ready For Fall 2010 Migration?

Believe it or not, around this time the Monarch Butterflies in Canada are getting ready to start their fall migration.  They will start to leave Canada around September 1st.  They travel, on average, about 50 miles a day.  It takes them about two months to reach their overwintering sites in the mountains of Central Mexico.  So, Monarchs maybe coming through your area in the near future.

So far this year, I've raised and released 63 Monarchs, bringing my total raised to 2,063.  My goal this fall is to raise and release 100 Monarchs.  Currently, I have 16 chrysalises in my outdoor pavillion.  It's a good start.  The challenge will be to get them to mate as soon as possible so we can get the next generation here.  All my butterflies will be tagged with migration tags, in cooperation with the outreach program at the University of Kansas program called Monarch Watch.  Migration tags can be purchased at the Monarch Watch website:  The tags are affixed to the right wing of the butterfy in a specific location, and does not harm or inhibit the butterfly's flight whatsoever.  Who knows, maybe some of my tagged butterflies will make it to the migration site this year and be recovered next spring by the scientists in Mexico.  We'll see.

Interestingly, almost all of my current 16 caterpillars made their chrysalises on the underside of the Milkweed plant leaves.  It looks like a butterfly bush for real.  See the photos below.

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