Monarch Migration – Are You Willing to Help?

A monarch butterfly feasts on milkweed nectar. Photo by Flickr user Dave Govoni through CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

This is the time of year that North American monarch butterflies are migrating south for the winter. Many of us GeekMoms have enjoyed butterfly gardening, visiting butterfly habitats and attending butterfly tagging events in our respective communities.

I had a wonderful butterfly garden when I lived in Melbourne, FL from 2002-2005. We had many varieties visiting our backyard, and the neighborhood kids enjoyed coming over to see the entire life cycle: eggs, larvae, chrysalis, butterfly! I also enjoyed my neighbor’s butterfly garden in North Carolina, as well as in eastern Nebraska.

As for my current community, the Panhandle Butterfly House in Navarre, Florida is only about 3 miles up the road!  I had a good time testing out my new Nikon camera there earlier this summer. The butterfly house will be hosting the Panhandle Monarch Madness Festival this coming weekend! So for you eastern Gulf Coast readers, come check out the event and see monarch tagging in progress as the butterflies prepare for the final leg of their migration!

This week WBUR’s radio program Here & Now featured a story about Dr. Fred Urquhart, a scientist who spent 40 years learning the monarch butterfly’s migration patterns. An IMAX film dedicated to his story and the beautiful images of the migration was released this week throughout the United States. Check here to see if it’s playing near you!

Do you want to learn more bout monarch butterfly migrations? Journey North’s butterfly migration website offers numerous resources to help monarch fans of all ages track this year’s migration and learn more about the tagging process.

Do you live along one of the U.S.’s monarch butterfly migration route? You can do your part to help replenish the natural habitats and resting places by planting native plants and flowers that monarchs love: milkweed (for the eggs and larvae), sunflowers, daisies, asters and goldenrod are all popular choices. It’s important to stick to native species to your locale.

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