This has been a busy fall for our BGOSS Community Tagging Days, volunteers tagging and our BGOSS rearing program. Chris and Sarah have sent along this Monarch Tagging Newsletter for you to read. The newsletter has lots of good information included for all of our BGOSS taggers.
Join Kerry and Melitta as they “Celebrate the Monarch Migration” through videos, images, stories and music. Discover and learn about the mysterious and marvellous Monarch butterflies and their special appeal as the most celebrated insect in North America. In the spring we celebrate their return to Saugeen Shores as people of all ages enjoy their beauty and free spirit. In the fall we celebrate with community tagging days and bid them adios and safe travels on their arduous journey to their overwintering grounds in Mexico.
When: Wednesday, February 13 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Time: Doors open at 10:00 a.m. for coffee and treats.
Where: Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre, 33 Victoria Street North, Southampton
Tickets: Purchase tickets by calling 519-797-2080 or drop into the Museum Visitor Services Reception.
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!
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.
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.
This image shows the size difference of a Monarch compared to a Viceroy. The tagged Monarch is considerably larger. (approximately 1″) The Viceroy is distinguished by its arching black band on its hind wing. Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweeds and Viceroy caterpillars feed on willow and poplar. One birder commented that seeing a Monarch and a Viceroy together is like seeing a Downy Woodpecker and a Hairy Woodpecker. They are somewhat similar, but when viewed together you can really notice the differences in size and in other features.
Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores shares with you all the steps in successfully raising Monarchs. Check out our latest article from the Shoreline Beacon newspaper.
Six year old Norah came across a female Monarch on a hiking trail and realized that something might be the matter with the butterfly. With the help of Melitta the Monarch was placed on a butterfly flower where it quickly started to feed. Later that day she flew away. It is nice to know that people like Norah are concerned about our environment. Way to go Norah!
In this article, we explore the amazing life cycle of the Monarch, from the egg, larva, chrysalis to adult stage. Learn and discover fascinating facts about the Monarch butterfly. For instance, did you know that the Monarchs first meal is its egg casing?