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Old 09-18-2010, 11:43 PM   #11
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Default Monarch Watch 2010

My kids and I participated in a Monarch tagging event today!

Volunteers showed everyone how to catch and tag the butterflies without harming them. My kids and I caught eight Monarchs; over 40 were tagged and released during the event.

This tagging event was run by the Missouri Dept of Conservation; it was a GREAT way to involve kids in citizen science, show them how to be gentle and respectful of life, and give them the thrill of seeing a butterfly close-up (and without hurting it!). Even the little kids were so very gentle and breathless around the butterflies-- my kids are older now, so it was fun and heart-warming to see the little guys.

I'm going to order a net and kit so I can tag some of the Monarchs that visit my flowers-- hope some of them make it Mexico. If anyone else wants to try this, info on the program is here: Monarch Watch : Migration & Tagging : Tagging Monarchs , and tagging kits are sold here: Welcome to the Monarch Watch Shop .
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:45 PM   #12
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How cool is that!!! Did you get any photos? I've seen birds banded before and.... I've banded em myself but I've never seen what a banded butterfly looks like.
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:51 PM   #13
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Here are a couple I just posted with info HERE

Tracking the Fall 2010 Monarch Butterfly Migration-p1070808.jpg

Tracking the Fall 2010 Monarch Butterfly Migration-p1070806.jpg
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:21 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
How cool is that!!! Did you get any photos? I've seen birds banded before and.... I've banded em myself but I've never seen what a banded butterfly looks like.
I don't have a close-up of a tag on any butterfly we caught, but it's a small round sticker. There are some good examples of it on this page:
Monarch Butterfly Citizen Science

The kids had to record the gender of each butterfly before releasing (the males have a pheremone dot on the fronts of their wings), and they had to make sure it wasn't a Viceroy instead of a Monarch (the Viceroys are smaller and the wings have a "parenthesis mark" pattern on them). I was worried that the butterflies would be damaged but they didn't seem the worse for wear, and the kids were all very gentle.
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Old 09-19-2010, 10:38 AM   #15
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The tagging kits say they take 10-15 days to arrive
I guess I'll try next year. I've had scattered monarchs passing through, but not dozens. I have more swallowtails than anything else, eastern tigers and black (and I just planted a couple kinds of pipevine, so hope for some of those next year!)

I now have four kinds of milkweed in my new garden, so hopefully I'll have a monarch factory next year, and will order a tagging kit early. What a fun idea to try!
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:31 PM   #16
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Turttle,
I wish I knew you wanted to tag. I had extras, but I gave them away. I always order mine in July because they often take even longer than two weeks.

Saw at least 1,000 or more monarchs at the beach yesterday morning! The migration is very heavy here on the east coast!
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:31 PM   #17
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butterfly Monarch sightings

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Turttle,

Saw at least 1,000 or more monarchs at the beach yesterday morning! The migration is very heavy here on the east coast!
WOW!! That's a lot of monarchs at one time! Be sure to take good care of them there on the East coast so the species continues!
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:07 AM   #18
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Wow, bet they were beautiful.

How many have you tagged this season? One thing I'm curious about-- I wonder if the tagged Monarchs end up being killed in Mexico (for their tags) when they might otherwise have lived. I'm assuming not but I wonder. Do you know how this is handled?
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:10 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Calliandra View Post
Wow, bet they were beautiful.

How many have you tagged this season? One thing I'm curious about-- I wonder if the tagged Monarchs end up being killed in Mexico (for their tags) when they might otherwise have lived. I'm assuming not but I wonder. Do you know how this is handled?
I've tagged almost 100 this season. I have released just under 300 monarchs as of this week. The tagged monarchs are not killed in Mexico for their tags. The Purepecha people (indigenous to Michoacan) honor the monarchs as they believe they carry the souls of their dead loved ones on their wings. The usually find the dead tagged monarchs at the end of the winter after the monarchs have mated. They sift through dead monarchs like dead leaves on the floor of the forest. I watched a man gently pick up a dead monarch and place it in a pile on the ground. They are revered and cherished.

If a tagged monarch is found, Monarch Watch pays 50 pesos or approximately $5 for each tag. The native people will also sell the tagged butterflies to tourists as they know the tourist will take it and report the data to Monarch Watch.
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Last edited by bridget1964; 09-30-2010 at 09:14 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:12 PM   #20
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Default Big News from Cape May!

Regarding the recent monarch migration through New Jersey: it has been reported that, over a period of about two hours (7 to 9 am), New Jersey hawkwatchers counted 1.4 million monarchs migrating through Cape May on September 21.
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