KSN Storm Track 3 Digital Extra: Monarch migration comes to Kansas

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Butterfly watchers have been glued to their flowerbeds this week. The fall Monarch Migration has begun and countless butterflies are fluttering their way through the Sunflower State.

Our assignment editor here at KSN, Marc Jacobs, shared with me the beautiful sight that has been happening in his backyard. Temperatures are right on target and with the movement of these little beauties, we know cooler temperatures are not too far behind.

Monarchs cannot survive long cold winters and set their sights on warmer climates. Those west of the Rockies travel to California. The ones moving through Kansas are actually heading on a long journey to Mexico, from the Upper Midwest. Shorter days and cooler temperatures start the chain of reaction that will ultimately lead to their winter roosting spot.

Photo Courtesy: Marc Jacobs, Valley Center

A couple of my friends are Monarch enthusiasts and go to great lengths to help the species survive. When I saw what was happening in our assignment editor’s garden, I looked into this epic Monarch Migration. No other tropical butterfly can compete with traveling more than 3,000 miles! They are the only butterfly to make a 2-way migration every year.

Photo Courtesy: Marc Jacobs, Valley Center

They will only take the round-trip once. Their children’s grandchildren will return south the following fall. They fly in masses and often roost in the same trees. They always seem to find their way.

Be on the lookout and share your pictures and videos with us! Click on the Connect 3 tab at ksn.com.

-Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman

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