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More Than 50 Monarch Butterflies Passed Through CV This Fall!

13 Dec

We’ve just filed our annual report with the conservation group Monarch Watch as part of their tagging program. Gardeners placed small numbered ID stickers (tags) on the dorsal wings of 50 Monarch butterflies between August and October 2021.  With luck, a tagged (expired) butterfly will be found in Mexico, the migration destination, recovered and reported.  

A Record-Setting Year for These Special Pollinators

By far, this is the most Monarch butterflies we’ve counted in one season.  No doubt the special new net helped with catching, but a fair amount of the butterflies were found as caterpillars on milkweed plants.  The native plant species is the only type that Monarchs use for egg-laying, which is why conservation efforts call for planting as many of the drought-resistant host plants as possible. (Continued below)

Learn more about Monarch Butterfly Migration, habitat conservation and the Monarch Watch tagging program here. To date, there are 36,863 official way stations in the United States; sadly the species remains at risk, due to deforestation and the ongoing loss of natural habitats.

Migrating Monarchs Need Waystations for Food and Shelter

CVEarthlab Garden was launched in 2013 and a few years later, the play area was registered as an official Monarch Waystation.  This means it provides shelter and food for the migrating butterflies. At CV, food is three different types of milkweeds and a variety of continuously blooming nectar-providing flowers, including annuals such as marigolds and Zinnia and native perennials (plants that come back every year) such as bee balm, black-eyed Susan, echinacea, sedum, coreopsis, goldenrod, violet, and hollyhock.  

We have participated in the tagging program since 2019, but only started documenting CV Monarch caterpillar sightings around 2018.  See the tag numbers we registered in 2021 on this spreadsheet; when a butterfly with the tag number is found it will be reported here.

Want to help support the 2022 Migration? In March we will start to grow butterfly-friendly flowers at our seed-starting event; there are many ways to help with conservation in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Send your contact info to CVEarthlab@gmail.com and we’ll keep you in the loop! -CVEarthlab Core Committee Members

Related posts: Monarch Butterfly was Tagged, Released Today (2019) ; CV Has Monarch Caterpillars! (2018) ; Why I Love Mulch! (2017) ; What’s In Our Butterfly Garden? (2014)

Persimmon?

16 Oct

There are 4-5 berry sized ones on the tree.

3:45- 5pm Today:Butterfly Chasing, Catching, & Tagging

25 Sep

The Monarch migration is almost over! We will attempt to catch and tag some Saturday afternoon.

Come if you can!

Saturday @2-3:30pm: Monarch Butterfly Catching

17 Sep

It is the middle of the migration peak, and we’ll be outside trying to catch and tag butterflies Saturday afternoon. All are welcome to watch/spot and help. Parents: be aware that while we often catch something, it won’t necessarily happen quickly. In most cases, seems best for kids to play or do other activities while keeping an eye out for Monarchs.

I am no expert, but can point you to lots of information here. To answer some FAQs:

-The Monarchs are en route to Mexico. They fly as far as 3000 miles during lifespan.

-We tag them with a numbered sticker via a citizen science project from Monarch Watch.

-Monarchs are an endangered species and this type of monitoring helps measure the health of the overall migration.

-Monarchs visit Concord Village because we have many native plants they visit for nectar (food), as well as milkweed — the sole Monarch host plant. Female Monarchs lay eggs on milkweed only (any caterpillar found on milkweed is a Monarch).

–Denise

The Goldenrod Is Blooming

13 Sep

Timed to coincide with the Monarch migration the showy goldenrod is sure to attract even more of the butterflies.

3pm Today (Sunday): Monarch Butterfly Release

12 Sep

The Fall Monarch Migration is at its peak, and we’ll tag and release two newborn butterflies today at 3pm. Come and see if you can!

Learn more about Monarch conservation at CV:

Get Ready, Get Set, Monarch!

Monarch Migration Activities: 9/11/2021

Check Out the Caterpillars in Habitat By Children’s Play Area

Today’s Monarch Migration Happenings: 9-11-2021

11 Sep

After naming, tagging, and releasing 13 newborn Monarch butterflies on Friday, we had more insect fun on Saturday. Two females, Lola (above) and Flyer (below), were netted, tagged, and released.



We watch, we wait, and eventually catch the butterflies with nets — swooping down when they’re feeding from one of the white butterfly bushes in the play area.


We capture caterpillars that we spot on milkweed plants. This is the only plant that hosts them, the only place a female will lay eggs, so when we see a caterpillar on milkweed, we know it’s a Monarch.


Marley, shown above, was discovered, named, and placed inside a habitat. She’ll eat milkweed leaves for the next week, until she’s big enough to go into a chrysalis in which she’ll transform into a butterfly over 7-10 days. You can see the lifecycle here:

We found and housed 4-5 swallowtail caterpillars in a habitat, but we don’t study or tag these, typically. We’re working with Monarchs as part of a citizen science project from MonarchWatch, a group that helps conserve the important pollinators. Learn more here.

The Monarch Migration is forecast to continue to move through Brooklyn until about Sept 26th — we’re smack in the middle peak season! Stay tuned for more local reports. –Denise

Read posts from previous migrations:

Monarch Butterfly was Tagged, Released Today (2019; CV Has Monarch Caterpillars (2019;

Image

2:30-3pm Friday, 9/10: Big Butterfly Release!

9 Sep

We plan to tag and release 13 Monarch butterflies from the garden tomorrow. All are welcome to watch — and we’d love help taking photos and video!  See pics from a previous release here.

Cucumber & Cream Cheese Sammie

9 Sep

Made with a freshly-picked juicy cuke!

My New Monarch Tagging Method

6 Sep

I spotted a couple today, around 1pm. Since I was in the garden alone, I called Benji to help me tag. I was able to hold onto the body through the net while Benji attached tagging sticker. After tagging each with ACUS 732 and ACUS 733, we released the two females.

Esp with the big net, it seems fine to let’em hang for a bit.

@1pm seems to be THE TIME for Monarchs to visit the play area. Check it out on the next sunny day! Just a couple weeks left before migration peaks. — Denise

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