Butterfly migration passes through Cleveland

Posted at 5:27 AM, Sep 16, 2015

They are literally everywhere.

On Facebook and on Twitter.

You dodge them while walking through the flower garden and while driving.

If you're visiting one of the many flower gardens in our local metro parks, you could see dozens of them at once.

The Monarch butterfly is making its annual fall migration south from Canada and the Northeast States and they are flocking right here in Northern Ohio this week.

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The Monarch butterfly is a large orange-winged insect with black veins that gracefully flutters around Northern Ohio yards and fields from mid to late-summer. They are looking for a quick flower from which to take drink.

They are frequent visitors to backyard gardens and perennial beds.

Their migration has been called one of the most spectacular feats of nature.

You see, in late-August and early-September, adult Monarchs congregate from Southern Canada and the Great Lakes as they begin their slow trip south.

It's a flight that will take them across the Gulf of Mexico all the way to their wintering grounds in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico!

This journey starts here in Greater Cleveland around the 10th of September.

And for about the next seven or eight days, you should be able to see loads of the nimble fliers crossing your path.

The butterflies will reach the southern states of the U.S. by early to mid-October. The journey will not end until the butterflies reach their final destination in Mexico in November.

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Monarch Butterflies migrate north beginning in March every year. They reach Ohio gardens in early to mid-July. After spending about a month here in the Buckeye State, the journey south begins again.

No single monarch will make the entire round trip north and then south in its lifetime. Females lay eggs on their favorite variety of Milkweed plant all along their journey north through the US.

It takes about five generations of Monarch to complete the round trip cycle each year.


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