Common Buckeye, Fiery Skipper and other migrants at High Park, Toronto

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Peter Hall

Sep 6, 2022, 5:53:03 PM9/6/22
to Ontario Butterflies
Hi folks:

Annual late season migrants are starting to show up more often in the Toronto area. At the round Hillside Garden on the east side of Grenadier Pond in High Park this afternoon, 10 total species were present, including a number of late season migrants. Included were Red Admiral (6), American Lady (1), Monarch (35), Fiery Skipper (1) and Common Buckeye (2). They were mostly feeding on yellow/white lantana. One Monarch had a Monarch Watch tag with the code AEZE 925 (see photo).P1050044 (2).JPG.

Good butterflying

Peter Hall

Walter Fisher

Sep 6, 2022, 9:31:10 PM9/6/22
to Ontario Butterflies
Hi Peter,  Monarch AEZE 925 was tagged earlier today (1200ish) at Rosetta McClain Gardens in the east end of the city by my friend Betty McCulloch.  She was thrilled to learn of your report and thanks you for taking the time to photograph and report one of her butterflies.  Of interest, these are wild Monarchs that she captures and tags.  Walter

Judy and Peter Hall

Sep 7, 2022, 9:35:33 AM9/7/22
to Ontario Butterflies, Walter Fisher, donald davis
Hi Walter:

Thanks for the response to my observation of the tagged Monarch. I too was very pleased to have seen the tagged butterfly as, after many years of observing and photographing probably thousands of Monarchs, it was the first time I came across one with a tag. I first saw the Monarch at just before 2:00 pm yesterday, which means it covered the 20 km distance across downtown Toronto from the Rosetta McClain Garden in less than two hours. That would be an average speed of more than 10 km an hour. It was somewhat breezy at that time yesterday but I don't remember the winds direction. However, I would guess the butterfly must have caught the wind and glided over the city alighting in the large green space of High Park and quickly finding the white buddleia bushes I found it on.

All very interesting. I'm cc'ing Don Davis on this as I'm sure he will have some insights into Monarch travelling speeds.



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Alfred Adamo

Sep 7, 2022, 12:33:28 PM9/7/22
to Judy and Peter Hall, Ontario Butterflies, Walter Fisher, donald davis
The winds at noon yesterday at the Island airport were ENE 21 km. gusting to 30 so there was definitely a good tailwind.  This travel speed is often faster than one may be able to drive the same distance with the Toronto traffic!

Incidentally, I observed a Spicebush Swallowtail this morning at an unusual location; past the window of an auto repair shop in the Mississauga/Britannia Rd. area of Peel.


Donald Davis

Sep 7, 2022, 3:09:58 PM9/7/22
to Ontario Butterflies, Walter Fisher, donald davis, Judy and Peter Hall
Yes..winds certainly influence monarch flight speed and travel. While I have had a number tagged monarchs recovered along the north shores of Lake Ontario (including Port Hope, Oshawa (Intrepid Park), some attempt to cross Lake Ontario when weather conditions are favourable, and as recently as last fall, I had a Presqu'ile released monarch photographed by another Monarch Watch tagger at the Stirling (New York) Nature Centre on the south shore of Lake Ontario.

Longest distance I recall a monarch being recovered/spotted from one day to the next was an individual, probably blown by the winds, was a distance of about 276 miles.

In 2005, at Shipyard Park on the Oakville waterfront, I spotted a tagged monarch on one of those long, tall rows of buddleia (long since gone), and discovered it had been tagged by 70 year old Julie Clemens, a Monarch Watch tagger in Cleveland, Ohio. It is suspected that this monarch was blown about 165 miles to the north-east by the remnants of Hurricane Katrina.

Don Davis

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

butterfly animation

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