Monarch Watch Blog

First Monarch Butterfly of the Year

Monday, April 9th, 2012 at 12:16 pm by Chip Taylor
Filed under General | 11 Comments »

Margarete Johnson spotted a monarch butterfly yesterday (8 April) while gardening in Monarch Waystation #1 here at Monarch Watch (Lawrence, KS).

Margarete beat me by a day.

This morning I spotted a faded female monarch while walking the dog in western Douglas County, KS (6 miles east of Berryton, KS).

My earliest sighting over the years occurred on the 7th of April – an event that was followed by an April storm that took out the roof of our greenhouse and froze all manner of early bloom or leafyness and no doubt that early monarch.

The extended forecast through the 3rd of May indicates that overnight temperatures will be above normal for 23/24 days. There is no frost in sight and our last frost was on the 9th of March (the mean day of last frost for this area is 15 April). The season is off to an unusual start, one that should benefit monarchs and butterflies in general – at least in eastern KS. We are already seeing numerous butterfly species that originate from TX. Yesterday, the flow of red admirals through this area was quite exceptional. I have already seen more swallowtails than I saw all of last year. We just need about an inch of rain a week to keep things on track…

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  1. 11 Responses to “First Monarch Butterfly of the Year”

  2. By Linda McBride on Apr 9, 2012

    Saw my first monarch Apr. 8 – a faded female. She laid an egg on my just-emerging swamp milkweed. This is waaay early here in Glen Allen, VA!

  3. By Sandra Johnson on Apr 20, 2012

    Neighbors spotted 4 monarchs this past week which confuses me: we are in a suburb of Detroit and our milkweed isn’t even up yet. Any thoughts???

  4. By Steve on Apr 21, 2012

    On April 21st, I just noticed two monarchs flying around in our neighborhood in southeast Lincoln, Nebraska.

  5. By Scott Schmidt on Apr 24, 2012

    On April 23, I observed the first monarch of the year in Hays, KS.

  6. By Bruce Morrison on Apr 24, 2012

    My wife and I saw our first Monarch yesterday afternoon in Waterman township – in SE O’Brien County in NW Iowa. The Monarch was a half mile south of the Prairie Heritage Center on Yellow Avenue. We also saw another in about the same location an hour and a half later. I’m hesitant to assume it was another individual, but perhaps the same one(?). We have never seen Monarchs in April here before!

  7. By Russ Lombardi on May 2, 2012

    Spotted a lone monarch heading north today, May 2nd. One mile from the Ohio River.

  8. By Linda Miller on May 9, 2012

    Saw first monarch here in west central Ohio-May 2, found many eggs and have two caterpillars here in the house, May 8. seems early for Ohio.

  9. By Donna Tiffin on May 10, 2012

    My daughter and I each saw a Monarch butterfly here in Kitchener, Ontario on May 4. This is the earliest for us here. I see the Milkweed coming up- about 6 inches tall. The Monarchs now will be able to lay their eggs!

  10. By Jennifer on May 13, 2012

    I saw my first Monarch today, May 13 in Wichita, KS. It was a great Mother’s Day gift.

  11. By Karen Wells on May 25, 2012

    I just wanted to say how excited I was to look at my milkweed on May 18 and I found 3 eggs. I went to another patch and found two caterpillars. I was amazed to find them so early. However, I have not spotted the lady that lays the eggs. I am in Birmingham, Ohio. I can’t wait to start tagging.

  12. By Heather Greuel on Aug 18, 2012

    I saw my first Monarch today while I was walking with my mother on the Monarch Trail in Milwaukee, WI (Aug. 18). I’m so excited for this year hope to see a lot!

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