Where To See Monarch Butterflies Migrating South

monarchs 199x300 Where To See Monarch Butterflies Migrating South

Monarch Butterflies are once again working their way down the East and West Coasts and across the central United States on their journey to their wintering grounds in Mexico.  Maryland, where I live, is just beginning to see relatively large numbers. The coastline towns and beaches are already seeing daily numbers in the thousands as the northern butterflies work their way down from New England. Monarchs choose to follow the beaches southward so they can refuel on the minerals found in sandy areas.

For Marylanders, a late season visit to the beaches, particularly Chincoteague and Assateague Islands, will provide you with an excellent chance for some one-of-a-kind photography experiences.  Researchers there that study these amazing insects count the buterflies by remaining in one spot for several hours, and estimating the full numbers of butterflies based on their stationary sightings. To count the numbers, and monitor the lifespan of the Monarchs, the insects are also gently caught, and tagged with lightweight stickers, to be followed up on by researchers in Mexico, and back in the USA once the insects return northward in the spring.

This year Monarchs are loading trees and sand dunes in numbers researchers reported in Assateague as high as 620 new Monarchs moving past stationary positions every hour.

To see where the peak numbers of butterflies are across the nation, check out this interactive migratory map of the United States. Citizen volunteers, and scientists alike update the site daily, and provide weekly map updates on all migrations in spring, summer and fall.

Photo Courtesy of: mikebaird

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