The Migrating Monarch

The Monarch is an attractive butterfly with orange and black wings, which sometimes spread up to 4 inches wide, and are marked along the edge with two rows of white spots. This king of the butterfly world is also called a milkweed butterfly, named for the plant it feeds on. Monarchs are found wherever milkweed plants grow, on all continents except the polar regions. Monarch butterflies appear in particularly large numbers across the northern and eastern parts of the United States as well as in Canada. While we usually think of butterflies in the spring and summer time, the most amazing aspect of a Monarch butterfly’s life occurs in the fall, when it migrates to a warmer climate for the winter. The fall migration begins as early as August 21, and generally peaks in October. Get ready to track the monarch’s migration to Mexico! Report your own observations of migrating butterflies to real-time migration maps. Starting August 22, weekly news updates will be posted on Thursdays at http://www.learner.org/jnorth/monarch/index.html

Click here for more information and a Monarch coloring page:
http://www.knowledgehouse.info/njfk/monarchs.html

Check out this Monarch page for kids with crafts, printables, and puzzles:
http://www.kidzone.ws/animals/monarch_butterfly.htm

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