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Cleveland Metroparks says peak monarch migration is almost here

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Posted at 1:25 PM, Sep 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-14 13:25:05-04

CLEVELAND — It’s that time of year again when monarch butterflies, in one of the greatest migration phenomena, begin to show up in yards, woods and Cleveland Metroparks.

Monarch butterflies make a stop in Cleveland Metroparks, usually near the lakeshore at Wendy Park, to rest along their journey from Canada and the Northeastern U.S. to Mexico.

Last year, News 5 photographer Bridgette Pacholka captured monarchs roosting on the cottonwood trees at Wendy Park. Their presence along the lakeshore tends to bring in visitors.

The Cleveland Metroparks recently gave a heads up to its followers on Facebook.

"Overall we are seeing decent numbers arriving on our shores. We’re still looking forward to peak migration which usually falls around the 13th of September," said a Metroparks spokesperson.

Marty Calabrese, a naturalist from the Cleveland Metroparks, says wind and temperature are determining factors that bring the butterflies to the shores of Lake Erie. If the weather is good in Canada, the monarchs will make their way over to Lake Erie.

If the weather is rainy, cool, dreary -- otherwise considered poor conditions -- Calabrese said the monarchs will rest and roost because they are solar-powered creatures.

“What will happen is more monarchs will come down from Canada. If the weather is good in Canada, they don’t know that the weather is not good in Cleveland, and the additional monarchs, we’re talking 10, 100, 1,000 plus at a time will land and continue to do this for two to three days,” he said, calling this event one of nature’s “true phenomenons.”

Calabrese said the Metroparks have their eyes peeled to the lakeshore parks for the typical one or two days when peak migration occurs.

Roosting monarchs can be witnessed at dusk and dawn before they warm up and continue on their way south to Mexico.

The Cleveland Metroparks said to keep an eye out on its social media channels for updates.

When they do, some of the best sites for observation:

  • Huntington Reservation wildflower field across the baseball field at Wolf Picnic Area
  • Wendy Park
  • Wildwood/Villa Angela up and down the Euclid Creek shoreline where the wetland edges are loaded with wildflowers

RELATED: Texas bird among record-setting number of migrants spotted at Wendy Park

Stay tuned: The monarchs could soon invade the shores of Lake Erie ahead of astounding migration to Mexico

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