An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Monarch Butterfly Migration is Underway

Monarch Butterflies have begun migrating — the peak of their migration in Central Vermont/New Hampshire is September 3 – 15. Monarchs typically cycle through four generations during the breeding season. The final generation migrates to Mexico. Those individuals emerging in late summer live much longer than the Monarchs that are around in June and July (6-9 month life span vs. 6-8 weeks). This allows Monarchs in the East the time needed to migrate up to 3,000 miles (a trip that takes roughly two months) to central Mexico, live through the winter and to begin a return trip (making it only about halfway back), mating along the way. The succeeding generations of Monarchs continue the return trip back to New England, and with luck, the great (or great-great) grandchildren of the butterflies that are migrating to Mexico now will grace our milkweed patches next summer.

2 responses

  1. twigstories

    I encountered these beautiful butterflies when I was 7 years old in New Mexico, and had the privilege and benefit of a great 2nd grade teacher, Ms. West, who was a nature buff. We spent many hours outside exploring their habitat, and learning about their migration. I’ve always been impressed by their grace and fascinating lives ever since. Thanks for posting this, Mary! Lovely photo.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm

  2. Great photo of that thistle!

    September 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm

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