Spring Monarch Butterfly Migration
As the Weather warms in late February, signs of the coming Spring Monarch Butterfly Migration are evident in the
overwintering sites of Central Mexico.
The exact timing of this event is triggered by the:
- coming Spring Equinox.....the number of hours and intensity of sunlight warming the forests
- rainy season approaching
- warming temperatures which burn the Monarch's fat reserves
- maturation of the Monarch's sex organs
The Monarch colonies begin to break up as the butterflies move lower in the forests.....nearer the streams to drink water.
As Monarch's sexually mature, they mate in "dances" that can last up to 16 hours.
The males mate with up to 3 females. The males usually die soon after mating.
After the eggs mature, the females go in search of
to lay their eggs. (right)
The Spring Monarch Butterfly Migration moves Northward as the milkweed is quickly used by the millions of females.
The majority of Monarchs leave the overwintering sites during two weeks in mid-March, although this varies from year to year depending on weather.
The Monarchs funnel through Texas just as they did during their
By the end of April and beginning of May, some of these migrant butterflies, tattered and torn, make it all of the way to the central plains and the middle Atlantic Coast.....AMAZING!!
The first generation of these migrants start to hatch about a month after the eggs are laid. The Spring Monarch Butterfly Migration continues Northward to the Midwest, Northeast and Southern Canada, arriving in these areas from about mid May to early June.
Then, the cycle begins again of the Miraculous Monarch...........