Your Monarch Butterfly Experience


Monarch Butterfly Migration

Each Fall many of our popular birding sites along the South shore, especially within Point Pelee National Park, are great for monarch viewing as they migrate south to Mexico.

Your Monarch Butterfly Experience

Each Fall many of our popular birding sites along the South shore, especially within Point Pelee National Park, are great for monarch viewing as they migrate south to Mexico. Stay tuned to Point Pelee National Park’s Facebook & Twitter for daily monarch counts as migration typically starts mid-September.

Monarch butterflies are truly met with excitement when they return from their epic migration in May. The North American population of monarch butterflies is divided into two groups: the West Coast population that overwinters in California and are at extremely low numbers and the Eastern population that number in the millions and overwinter in Mexico. Regionally those numbers can fluctuate in places like Essex County and Pelee Island based on environmental pressures like spraying for mosquitoes, spider weeds and disturbing patches of milkweed.

Monarchs begin to arrive approximately May 10th. These butterflies are the parents of the first generation of local butterflies.

There are typically 4 to 5 generations of monarch butterflies in our region. The butterfly’s life depends solely on the presence of milkweed as it is the only plant that the monarch caterpillars can feed on.

The best chance to help the monarch is to plant native milkweeds in your garden at home. It is important to plant native varieties; at garden centers they will be called Common Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed and Butterfly Weed with its striking orange flower.

Clusters of butterflies can be seen at Point Pelee and on Pelee Island particularly during the middle of September which is the height of migration.

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For more information on monarch butterflies visit:

Pelee Island Butterfly Sanctuary and Teaching Garden
2875 West Pump Rd., Pelee Island, ON
226.724.2450

Hillman Marsh Conservation Area | Leamington
Point Pelee National Park
1118 Point Pelee Dr., Leamington, ON
519.322.2365 | parkscanada.ca/pelee

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