Saturday, October 18, 2008

Monarchs heading south

Journey North reports that the first monarchs have just arrived in their wintering areas in northern Mexico as the migration here continues. I just saw four nectaring on the butterfly bush, and have been seeing them for weeks now. My butterflying friends tagged 50 recently as part of their Monarch Watch volunteer work. It will be interesting to hear how many of their tagged monarchs are recovered.

I even saw a hummingbird yesterday at the Garden, visiting a red salvia. The previous day, there were two in the same general area. Yesterday's date is the latest that I've ever seen the last fall hummingbird before -- but there are still plenty of flowers available! Hilton Pond's ruby-throated hummingbird site reports their last fall sighting on 18 October (1986).

4 comments:

  1. I lived for a short time in Arizona, down in Tucson, and I have vivid memories of climbing to the top of the basin and range peaks and encountering lady bugs covering the peak. I think they were on a migratory flight as well. But I don't recall seeing any monarchs? But that was 15 years ago.

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  2. Mostly our eastern monarchs come down the 'Eastern flyway' along the Appalachians and the coastal areas or through the Central U.S. The western monarchs overwinter near Carmel, CA, instead of Mexico, I think, so that's why you probably wouldn't have seen them in Arizona. But I'll have to look into it!

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  3. Over here, the Scandinavian thrushes are beginning to arrive from the north and east.
    How I would love to tag monarchs! Or see hummingbirds in the garden......
    Rob

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  4. Monarchs are lovely, and ruby-throated hummingbirds, too, but we don't have Scandinavian thrushes or birds that migrate to Africa! In Ecuador, they have over a hundred species of hummingbirds.

    I'm envious of your potato harvest, peas, and parsnips!

    Cheers,
    Lisa

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