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Maybe A Great Year For Monarchs?

7-31-18 _U1A4131

I have no idea what the status of monarch caterpillars is in other parts of the country this year, but at least in parts of Vermont and New Hampshire, they are plentiful!  Two on one plant — just like the old days! (Thanks to Sadie Brown for NH input.)

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34 responses

  1. Mary

    We just saw the same population boom in Maine out in Penobscot Bay.

    July 31, 2018 at 2:21 pm

  2. Alice Pratt

    It’s very exciting..😍 ….the more Monarchs, the more caterpillars….I’ve seen one very frequently, since July 1st…3 times, yesterday afternoon…no Milkweed nibbles, though…my daughter, very closeby, has seen Monarch’s almost daily…even one at the beach! And 3 a few days ago! The Mom of a friend, is taking care of caterpillars ‘indoors’.

    July 31, 2018 at 2:22 pm

  3. I had a similiar thought! It felt like I saw more Monarchs this year than prior ones.

    July 31, 2018 at 2:25 pm

  4. Margaret B Towle

    I am seeing many more Monarchs here in Ipswich MA than ever before.

    July 31, 2018 at 2:25 pm

  5. We have definitely noticed the same in the Lowell, MA area.

    July 31, 2018 at 2:30 pm

  6. Karen Bruder

    I’ve had to stop daily egg collection from my milkweed patch. Rearing 150 butterflies currently. I expect 50-60 to eclose this weekend and then will resume the hunt here just north of Portland Maine

    July 31, 2018 at 2:39 pm

  7. smokeydodas

    It’s certainly been a great year for milkweed in our garden/yard. Coincidence?

    July 31, 2018 at 2:47 pm

  8. fludwig12

    Lots of monarch eggs and small cats in Mid-Coast Maine, and my home milkweed patch in Lexington MA (first adult sighting July 4) To report your sightings and follow monarchs check out:

    July 31, 2018 at 3:01 pm

  9. Kathy

    I am in Deer Isle, Maine and I have a small cluster of milkweed and butterfly weed. I was just out and counted almost a dozen monarch caterpillars on them. They have chewed them ragged. They are all sizes from very small to quite large.

    This happened last year as well but none before that! So maybe they are coming back. Anyhow I am thrilled.

    July 31, 2018 at 3:05 pm

  10. nelsondonnal

    We have had more monarchs, and caterpillars, here on our land so far this summer, than we have had for years! We are o happy.

    July 31, 2018 at 3:31 pm

  11. Angie

    I agree I live in Central VT, and I have this meadow full of milkweed & im finding eggs & the caterpillar 🐛 all over them. A very happy site

    July 31, 2018 at 3:43 pm

  12. Dale

    We have a 30-acre nature preserve in central Michigan and are enjoying a wide variety of butterflies, including Monarchs. Hallelujah!

    July 31, 2018 at 3:50 pm

  13. Same in western Maine, Mary. Here’s my recent blog post about them:

    July 31, 2018 at 4:03 pm

  14. Carole

    Same is true here in Wayland MA. So exciting

    July 31, 2018 at 4:11 pm

  15. Martha’s Vineyard: Not a huge year, but individuals arrived fairly early, and my friends report caterpillars seen fairly frequently. We have one or two cruising our flowers and gardens most days. Better than a few years ago when we only saw a few, all summer and fall. We had one year when we never saw one. I’m curious what the fall migration will be like. We’re on the “flyway” that collects monarch from Cape Cod, so keep those fingers crossed!

    July 31, 2018 at 5:13 pm

  16. This is good news!

    July 31, 2018 at 5:52 pm

  17. Misty

    I have Monarch caterpillars on my milkweed plants, first time ever. Monarch butterflies also very apparent here in western Massachusetts. I will let more milkweed plants invade the gardens next year!

    July 31, 2018 at 6:55 pm

  18. sue j

    This makes me happy!

    July 31, 2018 at 8:38 pm

  19. Anna

    Gosh we hope so! Seeing many caterpillars – 10+ on 5 plants alone! No count for the giant field of Milkweed in front of our house too. Yay!

    July 31, 2018 at 8:39 pm

  20. Suzanne

    Lots of monarch caterpillars this year (maybe a dozen I have seen so far?) on the 8-10 milkweeds on the side of my road this year. Have seen none in the past 2-3 years, so have been excited to see this comeback.

    July 31, 2018 at 8:57 pm

  21. Many monarchs here in SE Vermont and I hear they’re abundant in Metrowest Boston this year too! Also a banner year for Eastern tiger swallowtails.

    July 31, 2018 at 9:24 pm

  22. Anna

    Here in Kawartha Lakes (Central Ontario, Canada) I have suddenly noticed many Monarch Caterpillers in my clump of Common and Swamp milkweed. They range from tiny to very large and often there are several together on a leaf. I have counted nine so far, but every day I see more! I’m over the moon, as in 10 years here this clump has produced only 1 live butterfly, and 1 chrysalis that did not develop. I usually have 1 or 2 Monarchs visit each year, and some years none at all, so this is truly an exceptional year!

    July 31, 2018 at 10:33 pm

  23. Catherine Andrews

    More Monarchs than anyone can remember here in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I live in the highest community in Michigan (1680′) and planted milkweed I started from wild seeds 2 years ago. The wild plants are moving up into the highlands on their own and have almost reached my homestead. Observed the first caterpillar last week.

    July 31, 2018 at 11:18 pm

  24. They are plentiful here in NW Wisconsin, up by Lake Superior.

    July 31, 2018 at 11:33 pm

  25. Bill on the hill

    Hi Mary, I more than suspected this post would provoke many responses! I too, here in the highlands of Corinth have observed numerous monarchs, 3 just yesterday, intermingling with one another in flight. I have loads of blossoming milkweed too. My daughters perennial gardens have them also over in Woodsville, NH… I have observed lots of bumblebees, various fly species & other insects as well feeding on the milkweed… I too have an abundance of eastern tiger swallowtails this season… Then there is the hummingbirds! They empty the feeder weekly, use to be monthly. I have a family of 5 with the occasional stray hummer showing up, making things real interesting!
    Bill Farr…

    August 1, 2018 at 8:17 am

  26. Bellbird

    I’m on Cape Cod and have also had many monarch sightings this summer (only saw a couple in the past few years). Early last week I was thrilled to find one monarch caterpillar on our tuberosa (butterfly weed) and several tinier ones on our common Milkweed. Unfortunately, a couple days later the common milkweed had a lot of black and small brown ants crawling around, but no caterpillars. And the one on the tuberosa went missing as well. I keep checking all the plants in our yard in case they just moved around but no sign of any since last Saturday. Very sad!

    August 1, 2018 at 9:11 am

  27. Peggy Timmerman

    Experts in WI report it is a good year for monarchs here as well (although still not like the old days, since is it estimated that their numbers are down 90% from what they were in the 1990s).

    August 1, 2018 at 9:36 am

  28. Ron

    5 caterpillars on a butterfly milkweed in Carmel, IN.

    August 1, 2018 at 7:33 pm

  29. Rick Barstow

    I wonder if anyone has a theory as to the comeback? Here in central Vt. I mow many fields and have been leaving the good patches of milkweed for years. I can say I’ve seen more monarchs this year than in all of the past 6 or 7 combined. Hope it lasts.

    August 1, 2018 at 9:18 pm

  30. Anna Slack

    Hey Mary!

    Anna from Bradfor, Vt here. We seem to have at least three Monarch caterpillars that are munching up our Butterfly Weed! Have you ever heard of this? I knew the Weed was beneficial for adult butterflies and can’t seem to find a clear answer on if the caterpillars benefit from it as well. I believe they moved from some nearby Milkweed to this plant. (Photos attached.)

    Many thanks for your insights and your work! My family and I enjoy learning from you!



    On Tue, Jul 31, 2018, 2:02 PM Naturally Curious with Mary Holland wrote:

    > Mary Holland posted: ” I have no idea what the status of monarch > caterpillars is in other parts of the country this year, but at least in > parts of Vermont and New Hampshire, they are plentiful! Two on one plant > — just like the old days! (Thanks to Sadie Brown for NH input.)” >

    August 9, 2018 at 11:34 am

    • Hi Anna,
      Monarch larvae eat any milkweed plant (Asclepias spp.), so it’s understandable you saw them on butterflyweed! Your photo didn’t come through, but you could email it to me at Thanks so much.

      August 9, 2018 at 5:08 pm

  31. Vivien Goertz

    I live in the Niagara Peninsula of Southern Ontario and have also noticed more Monarchs this year.

    August 29, 2018 at 8:08 am

  32. RS

    Great post! Keep it up!

    September 6, 2018 at 2:53 pm

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