For the last few years, we have witnessed an amazing phenomenon here at the Ney Nature Center. About mid-September in the southwest corner of our restored prairie, the monarchs gather and roost. A “roost” is a cluster of butterflies also known as a bivouac. Since monarchs only travel by day, in the evenings they find places to rest and feed before continuing to make their way south. Monarchs are solitary travelers as they migrate, so why they gather into roosting sites at night is unknown to scientists. Most roosts last for a night or two, however, citizen scientists who have been lucky enough to find a roost have noted a few that have lasted up to two weeks.
In 2015, we began a tagging program, and we need your help. As the monarchs come in to roost, we will be collecting data as well as tagging them.
2020 Tagging Efforts
We tagged 500 monarchs and saw many more pass through the park! Stay tuned for our 2021 tagging events.