MONARCH BUTTERFLY COUNT SUMMER, 2020
Summer counts are conducted June 1st to August 14th. I record monarchs on about 200 acres of habitat in and around Harrisville at least every other day. Last year was the best summer for monarchs in numbers since record keeping began in 2010. The sightings are listed below for each of these seasons.
Year Number counted Notes
2010 4 Cool summer. 96 million monarchs in Mexico.
2011 1 Warm summer. 201 million monarchs in Mexico.
2012 1 Drought beginning. 145 million monarchs in Mexico.
2013 4 Drought year. 60 million monarchs in Mexico.
2014 35 Conditions improving. 34 million monarchs in Mexico.
2015 28 Most drought in eastern US ended. 57 million monarchs in Mexico.
2016 6 Cool Spring and very wet summer. 201 million monarch in Mexico.
2017 60 Very good weather conditions across eastern US. 146 million monarchs in Mexico.
2018 158 Excellent weather throughout the south for egg laying.
124 million monarchs in Mexico.
2019 253 Another excellent weather throughout the southern states.
302 million monarchs in Mexico.
2020 142 Good weather in Mexico. Monarchs leaving one month early. 151 million monarchs in Mexico.
FALL MIGRATION 2019
Generally, monarch migration begins with directional flights on August 15th in the Harrisville area, although one was observed high overhead on August 11, 2015. Most migrate in a southwesterly direction on northwest winds.
August 2019 set two new records since 2010. The 2 day count had 411 monarchs observed August 30-31 which broke the old record of 44 set on August 22-23, 2018. The seven day count had 470 monarchs observed August 24-30 which broke the old record of 201 set on August 17-23, 2018. The one hour count still stands at 149 August 22, 2018 along with the one day count of 1,016 on August 22, 2018. Finally, the one month count still stands at 1,524 set in 2018.
New records since 2010 for September were set for the monarch migration in and around the town of Harrisville. A one day count on September 26 had 1,301 breaking the old record of 813 set on September 27, 2017. A two day count still stands at 1,129 on September 27-28, 2017. A one hour count set a new record of 336 on September 26 breaking the old record of 192 on September 27, 2017. A seven day count set a new record with 2,843 September 22 to 28 breaking the old record of 1,162 set from September 21-27, 2017. Finally, another record was shattered with 3,892 monarchs counted this September which broke the old record of 1,298 set in September of 2017.
More new records were set since 2010 for October migration in and around the town of Harrisville. The one day count still stands at 286 set in 2011. The one hour count still stands at 55 set in 2011. However, the two day count of 497 October 6-7 broke the old record of 360 set October 4-5 in 2017. A seven day count of 596 on October 01-07 broke the old record of 367 on October 02-08 in 2017. Another record not reported before is the latest high number of monarchs late in October. I had 12 on the 20th which broke the old record of 9 set on October 20, 2017. Finally, another record of 645 monarchs were counted for the month of October breaking the old record of 435 set in 2017.
Last monarch observed in Harrisville was on October 28th. A total of 5,283 monarchs were observed from April 30th to October 28th, 2019. This new record shatters the old record of 1,857 set in 2017. Since record keeping began in 2010, the last three years have had over 1,000 monarchs observed. Otherwise, the average had been about 400 a year. My 10 year total has reached 12,405 monarchs counted for the Harrisville area!