The Spring migration season is nearly at a close. That means the fleeting glimpses of exotic songbirds at your bird feeders are drawing to a close. Don’t worry! The new generation of Monarch Butterflies have been sighted this week which means most of the United States will be seeing them soon.
Out with the old, in with the new
Just outside the Texas borders, the tell-tale signs of the last generation dying out are being seen. Reports of faded wings are flooding into tracking sites. The fascinating thing about these little winged creatures is that by this point they have traveled from Mexico into the Midwest and Eastern U.S. Some have even traveled as far as Virginia!
How to spot the difference
Older Monarchs will have faded colors and often have scars from their travels, in the form of tattered and slightly torn wings.
New generation butterflies will look fresh, with vibrant wings and little damage.
Butterfly feeders and plants
To help encourage Monarch Butterflies to stop in your yard you should make sure you have an abundance of butterfly-friendly plants. In addition, consider adding a butterfly feeder to your garden to make your yard even more enticing.
Pass the Milkweed please!
Most of us are enchanted by the gorgeous patterns on a butterfly, but forget what it takes for one to come to life. In order to have a butterfly, we need a caterpillar first and caterpillars need to eat–a lot!
Caterpillars love Milkweed leaves above almost anything else. In it’s final stages before chrysalis a caterpillar can eat as many as four large leaves. This may not sound like much, but think about how many caterpillars it takes to make all those butterflies! Making sure, if you’re in a breeding area, that milkweed is in good supply will help ensure you have more butterflies to enjoy.
Have you seen any Monarch Butterflies recently? Share your photographs with us!