Children learned and discovered how and why Monarchs are tagged as part of the Caterpillar Corner program led by Barb, Melitta and Kerry at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre in Southampton. Just look at the expressions on the children’s faces as they release a tagged monarch butterfly. Priceless!
Come out and join Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores on their annual Community Tagging Day on Friday, August 31 from 10:00 am – 12 noon (rain date: Saturday, September 1, 10:00 am – 12 noon). We will start our tagging along the Captain Spence Path in Southampton where we will meet at the Big Flag.
While the ‘Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores’ (BGOSS) is getting ready for the return of the Monarchs, they had some exciting news. They learned that one of their tagged Monarchs was recovered in El Rosario, Mexico.
The Monarch was tagged at the Southampton Golf and Country Club on August 23, 2017 by Stew Nutt and was recovered in Mexico on March 18, 2018. This means that it travelled over 4,500 kilometers. This is a miracle when you think of the size of the butterfly and the fact that it has never been to Mexico before! 208 days elapsed for this female butterfly from the day it was tagged, until the day it was recovered.
This is the second Monarch tag recovery for BGOSS. The first recovery was in 2016. This is quite remarkable as only a limited number of the millions of overwintering Monarchs are tagged. “It is like finding a needle in a hay stack and BGOSS is ecstatic that our community tagging efforts are truly international”, says Melitta Smole, executive member of BGOSS. Tagging Monarchs is one of the most rewarding programs run by Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores (BGOSS). “It provides us with an idea of the numbers of Monarchs in Saugeen Shores and it engages our community with a hands on opportunity to see these lovely butterflies up close,” says Smole.
Over the next few weeks keep your eyes open for the return of the Monarchs to Saugeen Shores. Last year the first recorded Monarch sighting was on May 20. Let BGOSS know when you discover the first Monarch in the area by sending us an email or visiting our web site.
We had a very successful tagging season. Many people who came out to our community tagging events asked us lots of questions. So, we wrote an article on the most commonly asked questions.
Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores hosted several community Monarch tagging days. Read the entire story from the Saugeen Times.
Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores has been alerted to several Monarch roosts in Southampton. Migrating Monarchs will sometimes create roosts in trees where dozens or thousands of them will stay for a day or two. They will typically roost in an area where there is nearby nectaring sources. One roost was documented by cottagers to have about 500 Monarchs! It is really great that residents of Southampton have taken to the Monarchs by planting milkweed and native nectaring plants. The Monarchs are showing us this year that they really appreciate your efforts. For more information on what plants Monarchs love, check out our special gardening section.
Making a difference really begins with the selection of plants we put in our gardens.
Interested in seeing how Monarch butterflies are tagged? Come and join Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores at one of their community tagging days. Learn how and why we tag Monarchs on their epic journey to their overwintering grounds in Mexico.
Monarch butterfly tagging dates and times.
· Meet at the Big Flag (Pod S-6) in Southampton
· Open to all ages
· Great for the whole family
· Bring along your butterfly nets (we have a few available)
· Bring your camera
· Wear sturdy shoes
1) Tuesday, August 29 from 10:00 am – 12 noon (rain date: Wednesday, August 30 10:00 am – 12 noon)
2) Saturday, September 2 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (rain date: Sunday, September 3 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm)
3) Saturday, September 9 from 10:00 am – 12 noon (rain date: Sunday, September 10 from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon)
Check our web site and Facebook page for updates.
Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores has partnered with the Shoreline Beacon newspaper to showcase a series of articles dealing with Monarchs, native planting, migration, and Monarch tagging. Our second article deals with the Monarchs overwintering sites in Mexico.
An enthusiastic group of people participated in our second tagging day. There were plenty of Monarchs along the Captain Spence Path but the high winds made it very difficult to net them. So the group headed to Perkins Park where several Monarchs were tagged. One Monarch netted already had a tag. The tag turned out to be a Monarch that BGOSS tagged over a week ago. So, this tells us that this Monarch is enjoying the plentiful food source at Perkins Park planted by BGOSS. Monarchs need to store high energy fats for the long voyage to Mexico. Francis Chua, from Bruce Power, who helped plant the pods at Perkins Park, also netted, tagged and released his first ever Monarch. The nets were provided by our major sponsor, Bruce Power as part of our ongoing partnership.
It’s that time of year again when the Monarch butterflies start their annual migration to Mexico. To celebrate the migration, Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores (BGOSS) hosted a tagging outing on Saturday, September 3 along the Captain Spence Path in Southampton. BGOSS organizers, Melitta Smole and Kerry Jarvis were joined by curious and interested people from the Owen Sound Field Naturalists, Pod Squad Ambassadors, BGOSS Facebook followers, vacationers and local families. The Hoy family; Sadie, and her daughter Vienne (6 years old) and son Royal (3 years old) from Southampton thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get up close with a Monarch. According to Sadie, “We frequent the Captain Spence Path daily in the summer and immensely appreciate all the effort, beauty and life Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores has injected into the shore line!” Vienne and Royal tagged a male Monarch and wished it “adios” and a safe voyage on its 6,000 kilometer journey from Southampton to Mexico.
For the next Monarch tagging day sponsored by Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores, check out our Facebook page.