Colorado Nature, Seasonal September 08, 2020
A Butterfly Migration Super Highway Could Bring Millions Of Monarchs Through Colorado This Fall
Fall is known for being a popular time for migrations, and — lucky for us Coloradans — we are right smack dab in the middle of several of their paths. Do you hope to witness one of these migrations this fall? Then keep your eye open for the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of butterflies that will soon be migrating through the Centennial State:
Like birds and — well, humans — monarch butterflies hate the cold (and cannot survive a freeze) and are beginning to make their 3,000-mile journey from their northern breeding grounds to warm and humid Mexico!
According to a 2019
Tweet from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, John Martin Reservoir State Park in southwestern Colorado saw thousands of monarchs huddling together to keep warm last summer, with this fall expecting much of the same.
In addition to the high volume last year, 2017 was also an incredible year for the monarch butterfly migration, as meteorologists were able to spot large amounts via doppler visibly.
While the bulk of the migration occurs in both the Midwest and far-western states (a la Oregon and California), Colorado will still see some action, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled and report your sightings to organizations like the
Though the reason for their migration is understood, scientists are still researching how to monarchs know which way to go, though they speculate it is through such directional aids as the magnetic pull of the earth and the position of the sun.
Needless to say, a journey this far takes a long time, so keep your eyes peeled early September through early December (with Colorado's peak expected around early-to-mid October).
Have you seen any monarchs yet? Let us know in the comments! To learn even more about monarchs in Colorado, check out
Thousands Of Monarch Butterflies Are Headed Straight For Colorado This Spring.