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Fall Migration Update!
Fall is here and across the country migration is in full swing. But birds aren’t the only creatures to migrate south in the fall. Some species of butterflies and dragonflies do it as well.
Monarch butterflies migrate thousands of miles each fall to a handful of sites in the mountains of Mexico, where millions of them will spend the next several months clustered in trees. There are so many butterflies that their weight sometimes breaks the tree branches. On warm days when the monarchs fly to sip water from puddles, you can actually hear the collective sound of their wings flapping (it
sounds kind of like deck of cards being shuffled).
You can help migrating monarchs by planting late-blooming nectar plants where the butterflies can refuel on their long journey.
Green darners are large, common dragonflies found across the Unites States. Some are year-round residents but some are migratory and fly south in the fall. Dragonfly migration usually starts after at least two nights of cooler fall weather, which signals that a cold front is approaching which will push the insects south with its winds. Along the way, green darners are preyed on by kestrels, tiny hawks that time their migration to coincide with that of the dragonflies to ensure a steady food supply. Other migratory dragonfly species include the wandering glider, black saddlebags, and Carolina saddlebags.
Migration is always a dangerous journey but climate change is making it even more difficult for some species.
Edible Fall Fruit
Pass the persimmon. How about the paw-paw? Now is the time to sample some wild fall fruits.