Let's talk about Monarchs!
Moderator: Monarch Watch
ehglenesk wrote:Pismo monarch grove now has between 2000 and 3000 monarchs (October 25) We expect a low year - meaning 30,000 +/- Docents start manning the grove October 30
montanadj wrote:We saw thousands of butterflies today flying past our house and in the parks of Laguna Hills...I've never seen something so beautiful...they just kept coming
Does anyone know if these are California monarchs? Where did they come from and where are they going??
Megathymus ursus wrote:Monarch flying over a residential street in Pico Rivera, CA yesterday (Oct 10 2005). Could not be clearly seen or sexed.
Paul Cherubini wrote:Megathymus ursus wrote:Monarch flying over a residential street in Pico Rivera, CA yesterday (Oct 10 2005). Could not be clearly seen or sexed.
In the past I've found early-mid Oct. is a good time to observe fall migrant monarchs in the inland southern California areas headed for the coast. As a rule I would see fall migrants in the Ontario, Fontana region moving due West towards the coast, but down in San Diego they would be moving WNW towards the coast. Also, out in the southern California deserts like around Needles, CA I would see monarchs moving WNW in early-mid October. It was a real mind blower to see fall migrant monarchs flying in a northwesterly direction in the Autumn! Some of the monarch orientation researchers like Dr. Barrie Frost who work with tethered monarchs and get them to fly SW while being tethered still have no idea that in the wild fall migrant monarchs in some areas of the USA commonly fly in northwesterly directions in the Autumn and fly southeasterly in the Spring (e.g. Ventura, California to southern Arizona). So they have no idea that while the sun might be one cue that fall migrant monarchs use for direction finding, it is not hardly the only orientation cue the butterflies can perceive and respond to.
Megathymus ursus wrote:This is true, but do not forget that Los Angeles-area monarchs really have no need to find a dedicated overwintering clustering spot. They can pretty much stay wherever they want. That said, the cities of Rowland Heights, La Mirada, and possibly Downey, CA seem to be local hotspots of overwintering and winter activity. In any event, we generally get a monarch (and larval) population boom every Oct. around here.
Megathymus ursus wrote:Paul, what distinguishes the "true" hibernators from the casual wintering monarchs? Is there some kind of genetic distinction between the native lowland CA monarchs and those that come from the more temperate West?
durploin wrote:On Aug 14, 2006, my children and I hiked up to 10,500 ft. on Mt Hood, the Cascades volcano in Oregon. For 2 hours beginning at around 8000 ft elevation, we were swarmed with monarchs, more butterflies than I have ever seen combined in my life. My estimate is that we were seeing something on the order of about 100 per minute and they were riding an air current up over a glacier up the face of a cliff at literally tens of thousands per hour.
Paul Cherubini wrote:On July 24 I saw three full grown (5th instar) monarch
caterpillars feeding on roadside Asclepias speciosa milkweed
growing along Highway 99W approximately 6 miles north
of Eugene, Oregon:
A day earlier, I saw a female monarch nectaring on thistle
in the Shasta Valley of extreme northern California
El Dorado, Calif.
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