The roosting has begun - they are on the move! Actually its been a few days now, just getting the time to get around to reporting it. But WOW we're having a fun time here with the show in the pasture each day and in the yard in the evening and morning!
(I partially blurred the number so our Florida
friend wouldn't get too many phone calls!)
This morning we had a "late" roost...they're usually out and dispersed/feeding by mid morning but today they were still roosting and clustering here and there out of the brisk wind. It was 10:50 am when Georgie came and got me to look, as she'd been out doing chores and was seeing lots of action.
I brought the camera out and was watching all the roosts and amazed they hadn't dispersed when I saw a tag! I photographed this on one of the soft maples on the north side of our grove, out of the wind...just sitting and resting. And no wonder!
I called the tag number and spoke with a gentleman from Florida who was staying in Wisconsin, visiting his daughter. He took the tag number and his daughter looked it up and found she had tagged "this very" Monarch individual on August 20th in Franksville, Wisconsin - north of Milwaukee about 10 miles - along Lake Michigan.
I don't want to name the person without his permission but he has been doing research on Monarchs for the past 10 years and started his research in Florida. Florida Monarchs are unique in that they don't migrate - they are a resident population. There is a parasite that Florida Monarchs are experiencing and they have been tagging these Monarchs and taking small samples from their abdomens (doesn't harm them) to check for the parasite...he referred to it as the "OE" parasite. They do this work through the University of Georgia and have 160 volunteers in Florida doing the work. Now his daughter is also tagging and checking the Monarchs (our migratory Monarchs bound for Mexico) and this one was tagged there in Wisconsin August 20th - very cool!!!
So far this Monarch has been flying due west of where it was tagged! Maybe it heard we have loads of flowers here for nectaring (tongue-in-cheek)!?! No wonder this poor critter was just intent to rest this morning...that's a long flight over the past 16 days!
I hope this Monarch makes it's way all the way to Mexico and we can hear from it again...wouldn't that be the greatest story!!!
Keep an eye out and enjoy the sight, soon they will depart...