Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) begin their annual fall migration in mid-August. These butterflies are the great-great-grandchildren of the monarchs that migrated to Mexico last fall.
You can help monarchs by providing food (nectar) and keeping those areas protected:
- Turn a portion of your lawn into a wildflower meadow—plant milkweed or other native wildflowers.
- Delay mowing areas with milkweed until later in the fall.
- Avoid using herbicides—they kill all life-stages of monarchs (egg, caterpillar, cocoon, and adult).
- Report sightings of adults online. View a map of the sightings so far this year.
Don’t know when their migration peaks in your area? Check out this migration chart.
Photo by Sandy Van Vranken.
Excellent suggestions! Get involved – planting a pollinator garden is a good first step that almost anyone can do. Soil and seeds and you are done!
Decades ago, on a windless blue sky September afternoon, I was privileged to witness an infinitely long tube of monarchs migrating southward, as my wife & I sat on a rocky ledge above the east shore of Lake George.
The diameter of this undulating tube was about 10 feet and hundreds of thousands of them were moving in unison, only a few yards in front of our gob-smacked faces. Unforgettable and breathtaking, it was a reminder of how fortunate we are to live in the Adirondacks.
Wow, that’s awesome!
I too witnessed such a spectacle performed by the majestic monarch! Was down around otsego lake, early 1970’s or so
We had a great amount of butterflies this year until the hay lot next to us was sprayed to get rid of a pest .