Monarchs to Mexico

This week’s blog was written by Jocelyn G., a Drummers alumni. She writes about her experience attending a Monarch Butterfly tagging session.

Recently I attended a Monarch Butterfly tagging session. It was tons of fun and I just wanted to share a little bit of what I learned about these truly amazing creatures!

Each year when it starts to get chilly the Monarchs begin their journey to Mexico. The Monarchs don’t do well in the cold weather so they head south for the winter. When the Monarchs take off for this 3,000 mile trip they jump right into the jet stream. They actually are able to sleep for most of the way there because they just float around in the jet stream as it carries them to Mexico. They do come down every once and a while to refuel but for the most part the Monarchs have a pretty nice trip down to Mexico.

This is a picture of me tagging a butterfly. The sticker is placed on the outside of the wing with tweezers. Then it is gently pressed down onto the wing.

Although over the years the Monarch population has gone down quite a bit. This is why Monarch tagging is important, it allows scientists to get an idea of how many Monarchs make it to Mexico. One of the major reasons that it has become more difficult for Monarchs to make it to Mexico is because of the decrease in Milkweed. This is the only food Monarch caterpillars eat and increasing carbon dioxide levels are making it too toxic for them to consume. So get out there and plant some Milkweed in your yard!

Here is a picture of the stickers we used to tag the Monarchs. They use the number on the sticker to track them.

Interested in learning more about the Monarchs and watching their migration? Check out!

The photos used in this blog belong to the author.