Tag Archives: tagging

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;


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

Get Ready. Get Set…Monarch!

14 Aug

The Monarch butterfly migration is here! Learn how you can help the species at CV.

Conservationists across North America tag the Monarchs with stickers to help Monarch Watch track and analyze the health of the migration. CV residents are invited to help, which entails:

  • Monitoring habitats around the children’s play area behind 195 Adams Street, and alerting the group when a Monarch emerges
  • Checking on caterpillars in the habitats to make sure they have enough milkweed (if not, you’ll pick some and place it inside).
  • Searching milkweed for Monarch caterpillars, capturing them when found
  • Roughly 24 hours after the butterfly emerges, her wings will have dried and she will be ready for flight. This is when we would gently grab the butterfly (per expert instructions) and place the sticker in the designated spot. The task typically requires at least two adults.
  • Tags (small stickers), butterfly nets and habitats are in the shed. Volunteers will get the code to the shed’s lock so they can access the nets or habitats as needed. (See below RE best times.)
  • Mundane tasks such as cleaning and sanitizing habitats
  • Fun tasks such as naming caterpillars, taking photos, making signs

Timeframe: Mid-August through Early October

Peak migration is predicted to happen in Brooklyn during mid September, but the Monarchs will also pass through (and leave eggs/caterpillars) before and after this time. August is a great time to learn and practice combination lock and net skills so you’re prepared by peak season! Send a message with your contact info to CVEarthlab@gmail.com, or post a note it in a comment.

Best times to find Monarch caterpillars: Look at the milkweed that is along the fence next to the slide during daylight hours. If you see leaves that look like they’ve been munched on, there is a good chance there is a caterpillar nearby.

Best times to see and catch Monarch Butterflies: On sunny days, butterflies visit the milkweed and large white flowered butterfly bush and other pollinator-friendly plants in the play area. Peak time of day is between 1 pm and 4pm, roughly.

CVearthlab is a registered Monarch waystation, and we try to catch and tag Monarch butterflies, or capture and raise Monarch caterpillars, to contribute to conservation efforts.

See past posts: CV Has Monarch Caterpillars ; Monarch Was Tagged, Released Today

See video demonstration on Monarch catching/holding/tagging tips
How to hold, attach sticker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qKON2lDkV0
How to tag using net/holding Monarch thru net https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbBW3LUFZ6M
(advance to around 5 min for net catch and grab, 9:30 for sticking tag on)

Why and how to tag Monarchs (longer video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skuVq7oj61o

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