Pam Wright posted an article recently in the Weather Underground blog about monarch butterflies still being in Canada.
Usually in Texas by this time of year, scientists feel the strong winds and the warm weather have kept the monarchs from migrating south.
Thoughts from Chip Taylor
When asked what he thought of this unusual phenomenon, Chip Taylor of Monarch Watch wrote in the Dplex-L list serv:
“Monarchs began arriving at the overwintering sites on the 27th of October. This is a normal arrival for the first monarchs. At that date substantial numbers of monarchs were still being reported in Ontario and at some locations along the east coast. The migration has been largely finished for nearly all other areas of the US except Texas and a few coastal locations. The number of monarchs in the migration is not known, but overall the migration appears to involve fewer monarchs than predicted based on projections of late summer production.
Late monarchs, such as those reported in Canada and along the east coast over the last few weeks have a much reduced chance of making it to Mexico. Fall flowering is now over in most areas and nectar and even water is scarce over most of the US and monarchs need both to fuel the flight to Mexico. Further, colder weather is reducing the number of days during which flight is possible and frosts will kill some of the stragglers. Loss of the latest to migrate is a frequent occurrence and is nothing to be alarmed about.
The Bottom Line
“The bottom line is that late migrations, such as that which are occurring this fall, are associated with relatively low overwintering numbers….While large numbers of monarchs were seen in many areas late in the summer and early fall, the number and size of roosts reported to Journey North have not been impressive. Further, there have been no reports of sightings of mass movements of monarchs in the Midwest or Texas. Monarchs tend to be more dispersed during warm periods and it’s possible that large numbers have slipped into Mexico unnoticed.”
On October 30, 2017 Journey North made this entry: “‘A harmonious parade of monarchs were streaming across the sky. I have not seen such a massive arrival in years,’ wrote Estela Romero on October 30th.” But there are still butterflies in Canada.