Monarch butterflies, one of the few insects that migrate, are on the move from their summer-season homes in southern Canada toward their wintering homes in Mexico, and many are coming right through our area.

There are actually two populations of Monarchs in North America. You've got the Western Population and the Eastern population, which are divided by the Rocky Mountains. The Monarchs we'll be seeing here in the Rockford area are from the Eastern population.

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This Is The Time Of Year That The Monarchs Hit The Road

Right now, the Western Population of Monarchs are heading for the California coast, where they'll spend the winter, while some of the Eastern Population will be coming through Illinois and the Rockford area on their way to the high mountains of central Mexico.

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You May Even See Big Groups Of Monarchs In "A Roost"

According to a piece at, here in Illinois we can expect more monarchs in gardens, parks, forests, and fields. And if you're exploring green areas along Lake Michigan, keep an eye out for "roosts" where dozens, or even hundreds, of monarchs spend the night in a single tree.

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Are The Migrating Monarchs Different Than The Ones We See All Summer?

In the Rockford area, we have what are called non-migratory Monarchs for most of the summer. These butterflies only live a few weeks. However, the last generation of the year are the ones who'll join the migratory Monarchs for the trip down to Mexico. The migratory ones can live several months.

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Keep an eye out, as experts predict that the migratory Monarchs will be here in the Rockford area within the next week or so, then they'll join up with our local Monarchs before flying out of here until next year.

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