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Monarchs Stop By Priory Waystation on Journey South

Monday, July 23, 2018

Monarch butterflies will be taking advantage of the wildflowers in Dominican's Monarch Waystation at the Priory Campus as they migrate through North America to winter hibernation areas in Mexico. The waystation, planted earlier this summer, provides the milkweed nectar and shelter to sustain the monarch butterflies as they make their journey.

Monarchs can migrate up to 3,000 miles to the same oyamel fir trees in the mountains of central Mexico every year, even if they aren't the same butterflies that were there the previous year.

We're hoping to see monarchs again when they return after the winter.

During their reverse migration, the butterflies head part of the way back north to warm climes such as Texas, where they mate and lay eggs on milkweed plants. In a few days, the eggs hatch into caterpillars which consume large amounts of milkweed before forming a chrysalis and transforming into adult butterflies. These monarchs then continue their flight north for another hundred miles before finding another patch of milkweed and repeating the process.

It might take monarchs four to five generations to complete the journey back north to Canada. For more information on the monarch migration, you can consult this article in National Geographic.