This is a final update of the 2003 monarch migration. The season’s last migrants were observed near the Butterfly Barn on November 3, a very late date for monarchs to visit this region.

As 2004 introduces blasts of arctic air, our wish is that the butterflies we’ve chronicled on these pages may enjoy warm, secure havens in central Mexico, 2000 miles to the southwest.

On October 18, a small resident was warming itself on a sunny leaf, about a step beyond the middle car.

A spell of sunny days brought scores of monarch migrants into the river valley during the week of October 5. There were several "big" days, but none rivaled the flood of monarchs we observed in late September.

The observations, below, are listed from the latest ones – in the top left column – to the earliest, at the bottom right.

In noting the locations of monarch migrants that have been reported to us, we’ve kept private the names of observers.

November 3 (Milanville)

The last three migrants. "At noon on a warm, azure day, I was startled to see a single monarch fly south across the barnyard, followed minutes later by another. At precisely 12:27, the season’s final migrant glided past and climbed to avoid a row of walnut trees along a fence line. In ten years of observing, it was the latest date that I’d seen monarchs. "

October 31 (Lake Huntington)

"I saw one monarch go by about 1:00 p.m., just outside the new high school in Lake Huntington amidst all the construction. It was a beautiful day and the monarch was heading south, past bulldozers and dump trucks."

October 28 (Conklin Hill)

"A monarch was nectaring in the garden about 12:30 p.m. I was really surprised."

The large butterfly (top) is by Tara, a 2nd grader in Honesdale, PA.

The small butterflies are by Cosmina, a 2nd grader in Honesdale, PA.


Submit observations here

October 21 (Wayne and Sullivan Counties)

Three monarchs were reported on this sunny, 59-degree day – one west of Calkins; a second four miles west of Milanville; and a third on Erie Avenue in Narrowsburg. All were flying south.

October 20 (Milanville)

Besting a headwind. "On a sunny day, a monarch flew very low across the meadow into a stiff southerly breeze – just above the grass, where there was less turbulence. It was 12:35 p.m., and the thermometer registered 52 degrees. The sun and the monarch’s own exertion had raised its body temperature a few degrees above the air temperature, which enabled it to fly strongly."

October 13 (Milanville)

"A single monarch flew south across our meadow near the Delaware River. No others appeared today."

October 11 (Lake Ariel)

"Two monarchs flew south across the tennis courts in the Hideout community during mid-morning."

October 11 (Honesdale)

At the high school. "A single monarch flew south past the High School tennis courts, about 4:30 p.m." October 10 (Milanville) "Four monarchs were seeking nectar in the garden in the early afternoon."

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