Migration: Moving South
Summary: Migration is a seasonal movement. Animals often spend their lives moving between homes in the north and south, depending on the season. One critter we see in our garden that participates in this migration is the monarch butterfly!
Before Visiting the Garden:
- Gather: Map of North and Central America (including the U.S. and Mexico), coloring utensils, butterfly stickers
- Explore: Check out the following website for images of butterfly migration maps: http://fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/Monarch_Butterfly/migration/index.shtml
- Read: Gotta Go! Gotta Go! by Sam Swope
In the Garden:
Butterflies are cold-blooded, meaning they are incapable of keeping their bodies warm without external support from sources such as the sun. So they have to move out of snowy climates in the winter and head south to survive in the warmth. These tiny critters can fly up to 3,000 miles (a little over the distance from Los Angeles, CA to Washington, DC) in search of a warm winter home.
Questions to Explore:
- In addition to warmth, what other things might a butterfly need to survive in the winter? Hint: food sources such as flowers
- What other animals migrate south in the winter? Are any of these animals as small as the butterfly?
- Would YOU want to travel a long distance for the winter season? Why or why not?
- We are going to trace the migration patterns of monarch butterflies and learn where they land. Conservation of monarch habitats is crucial for their survival.
- Help your tiny gardener color in the different areas of North and Central America. Then help your tiny gardener stick the butterfly stickers on the monarch migration areas.
- Using the United States Department of Agriculture website as a guide, take out the map you printed and work with your tiny gardener to trace monarch routes. Practice that pincer grip as you mark routes in a dark color.
Beyond the Garden | Conserving Habitats for Monarch Butterflies
Did you find your neighborhood on the map of monarch migration? If so, work with your tiny gardener to think about ways you can make your neighborhood monarch friendly. Use the resources below to come up with a plan for welcoming the monarchs back in spring!
Continue Exploring | Supporting Materials
Pollinator-Friendly Habitats: http://scottsmiraclegro.com/pollinatorpromise/