Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Create A Wildlife-Friendly Yard!


ABOUT US
     We encourage people to help the Monarch butterfly by creating special wildlife-friendly spaces in their yards and at their places of business. By doing this you not only increase biodiversity and benefit hundreds of other species of flora and fauna, but you also provide yourself a summertime of entertainment. Got comments or ideas for us? We'd enjoy hearing from  you- Contact Us

HOW TO USE THIS SITE
Find your article of interest in 2 quick ways:
(1) In the right margin, go to "ARTICLE ARCHIVES"
(2) In the right margin, type in your topic in "TOPIC SEARCH" and a related article will appear at the top of this site.

Michigan plants 400,000 Milkweeds to help Monarch Butterfly!

This December 28, 2015 issue of "Monarch Butterfly Happenings!" has some uplifting articles, including the Headline reporting of 400,000 milkweed plants being planted in Michigan! Click "Monarch Butterfly Happenings!" and have an enjoyable read!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

SUBSCRIBE TO FREE "MONARCH BUTTERFLY HAPPENINGS!" NEWSLETTER

Monarchs released into Black-eyed Susan patch
       Thank you for the interest in the Monarch butterfly! Below is a masthead of the latest issue. To Subscribe, click the masthead below and go to the "Subscribe to email newsletter" box. Welcome aboard!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

MONARCH BUTTERFLY NEWSLETTER ISSUE 1: 10/05/15

My wife & I released 208 Monarch butterflies this year- here's
the last one, a male.
From deforestation in Mexico to a dwindling food supply in the U.S., Monarch butterflies face threats on both sides of the border.

Funds available to restore Monarch butterfly habitats. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has awarded a nearly $250,000 grant to seven Oklahoma tribes to restore important monarch habitat on tribal lands and create in-state sources for much-needed milkweed production. The award is part of a first round of 22 grants totaling $3.3 million for projects across the country deemed most important to recovery of the iconic orange-and-black butterflies. 

Kim Nelson of Raymond, Wisconsin raises and releases Monarch butterflies. She represents and is the poster child of "Monarch lovers" everywhere. Hooray for Kim! 

Millions of Monarch butterflies are now visiting Texas, ready to treat the state as an all-you-can-eat buffet, building up fat levels that sustain them all winter in the cool mountains of Mexico. Did you know Texas has more milkweed types than any other state? 

Harvesting milkweed is vital to sustaining the Monarch butterfly.  By harvesting the pods of common milkweed plants, which contain the plant’s seeds, and then planting those seeds — or even just spreading them — in areas that aren’t mowed, governments and individuals can help grow more of the plants, which are vital to the monarchs’ life cycle.                                                                                   

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. enjoys his wildlife-friendly suburban yard and is devoted to saving the Monarch butterfly. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form.

3 WAYS TO HELP THE MONARCH BUTTERFLIES THIS FALL!


Monarchs love my Zinnia flower patch
     I took the above photo yesterday. The migrating Monarch butterflies seem to make it a habit to zero in on a small patch of Zinnias my brother planted here in NW Pennsylvania. The flowers are still well in bloom and just yesterday (10/05/15) a large Monarch spent a full half hour visiting each flower. Its body actually pumped up and down as it savored the nectar of these late-blooming plants.
 
Here's a great article from Monarch Joint Venture that describes 3 ways you can help the Monarch butterfly this fall: 
 
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=wm#inbox/1503e559d038a3af

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

MONARCH BUTTERFLIES UPDATE FROM NW OHIO.

Little Portage WA sloughs connect main marshes

     Yesterday (Monday, August 24) was a balmy day here in NW Ohio and some Monarchs were migrating while others were still laying eggs...go figure. I drove to Little Portage Wildlife Area just north of Fremont and collected eggs, tiny hatchlings and several very large Monarch caterpillars about to form a "J" off a single milkweed plant! The plant was in the middle of a mowed path that meanders through Little Portage, so I took them all home before the plow comes along.
 
Swamp milkweed abounds along the sloughs at
Little Portage WA. Female Monarchs frequent them.




     While trekking through the area, three Monarch butterflies flew by and I got some nice photos of them. The wetlands through Little Portage were full of Wood ducks and Great Blue herons. A series of narrow sloughs connect the main marshes, making the walks along them interesting, especially if you enjoy watching dragonflies. Swamp milkweed abounds along these sloughs and they are frequented by female Monarchs during the breeding season.
 
Large caterpillars and eggs were found on same milkweed
plants lining the sloughs at Little Portage WA
     Back home, I released a female Monarch onto a pot of Black-eyed Susan I keep on the front porch. She was the 112th Monarch I released this year, and I still have 89 chrysalises lining the tops of my plastic aquarium cages that have not yet to eclose. Did I mention the 30+ caterpillars that have yet to form chrysalises, the 10 un-hatched eggs? If they all develop properly, it is projected that 241 Monarch butterflies will be raised and released from my Monarch Waystation No. 163, up from 115 last year.
 
I hope to raise and release 241 Monarch butterflies
from  my suburban yard Monarch Waystation No. 163
     Out of the releases thus far, 56 were males, 50 were females and 3 are unknown sex because they flew away before I could check. I hope there is a high turnout in Mexico this fall, we shall see!

 

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. enjoys his wildlife-friendly suburban yard and is devoted to saving the Monarch butterfly. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form.

Friday, August 7, 2015

MONARCH BUTTERFLIES NEED TO BE TAGGED!

Monarch butterfly with tag
 
     You can get a "Monarch Watch Tagging Kit". I just got this email from Monarch Watch. They need to keep tagging monarchs as a way of monitoring their numbers and tracking any shifts in the origins of monarchs that reach Mexico. If you are a long-term tagger, you know it has been increasingly difficult to find enough monarchs to tag, especially during the last two years. The totals tagged each year roughly parallel the numbers recorded in Mexico each winter, giving Monarch Watch an independent assessment of the numbers in the migration. Regional tagging success also helps in that it demonstrates how monarchs respond to the physical conditions and quality of the habitats in these areas.
     Thus, tagging is an important tool to help understand the overall dynamics of the monarch population. Tags for the 2015 fall tagging season are now available from Monarch Watch. If you would like to tag monarchs this year, please order your tags ASAP! Monarch Watch Tagging Kits are only shipped to areas east of the Rocky Mountains. As usual, each tagging kit includes a set of specially manufactured monarch butterfly tags (you specify quantity), a datasheet, tagging instructions, and additional monarch / migration information.
     Tagging Kits for the 2015 season start at only $15 and include your choice of 25, 50, 100, 200, 300, or 500 tags. Monarch Watch Tagging Kits and other materials are available via the Monarch Watch Shop online at http://shop.monarchwatch.org - where each purchase helps support Monarch Watch. 2015 datasheets and instructions are also available online at http://monarchwatch.org/tag

Make a Difference! Please sign this petition. Thank you!

 
Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is dedicated to saving the Monarch butterfly. If you have any comments or pro-Monarch info to share, please contact him on the Secure Contact Form and, if you like, he will publish it on this blog. He enjoys hearing from fellow Monarch lovers!