A member of our Monarchs in Eastern Iowa group asked this question: "Is there a magical beginning and end date for monarch tagging in eastern Iowa? Such as, "no earlier than..." And "no later than..." Does this change yearly based on weather or is it a period of time that's concrete?"
|Photo credit: Dave Johnson|
As the length of daylight shortens in mid August and September, monarchs in northern latitudes, i.e. near the Canadian border, begin to migrate. Monarchs farther south will begin their journey a few weeks later. Tagging and monitoring should begin in late August in all regions, with a concentrated effort made in September and early October.
A GOOD RULE: when the wild asters, especially A. novae-angliae, goldenrod and Joe Pye weed are in bloom, the monarchs are migrating. In much of the lower midwest, migrating monarchs are attracted in large numbers to a tall late blooming thistle (Cirsium altissimum) several species of sunflowers and other species of Asteraceae.
Latitude: You can determine the estimated peak of the migration in your area based on latitude. Use Google to find your latitude by entering your city, state and the word "latitude."
For example: Searching for "Cedar Rapids, Iowa latitude" - results in 41.977879 latitude
Then check this link at Monarch Watch to view peak monarch migration in your area.
If you have questions about tagging, please visit "Migration & Tagging (click the tagging links on the left side bar too!), read and learn!