Even with the high temperatures this week, monarchs are slowly moving in to the Phoenix area. Tomorrow, September 29, begins the peak time of migration for monarch butterflies in the Phoenix area. So keep on eye for large wings of orange in the air! The migration window lasts until October 11th, but remember there will be straglers around for likely another month moving through. For more information about how the peak migration time is determined, see this link: Peak Migration Dates
Bob & I love leading monarch tagging trips. Recently we were in Ajo for the International Day of Peace and had a wonderful time sharing the joy of monarch butterflies - who know no borders. Two weeks ago students from Scottsdale Community College joined us on a tagging expedition to Canelo in SE Arizona. Last week the docents at the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum opened my eyes to a new tagging experience at Canelo - tagging monarchs in the rain! Most people would have cancelled the trip with rain streaming in our faces. But this was a tough crew! They donned raincoats, sloshed in the marsh - and tagged eight monarchs! Yes, we did a bit of butterfly rescue, too. Monarchs wandered from the safety of the canopy of nearby trees to nectar when it drizzled. When a downpour stuck they were stranded, thrown to the tall grasses.We gently picked them up and placed them in the safety of nearby trees, away from a predator's harm. Wonder if tagging hurts monarchs? See this delightful explanation by Chip Taylor of Monarch Watch: How to tag a monarch
Its a busy time for watching and enjoying monarchs! Savor these special jewels of the butterfly world and let us know if you see one.