Migrating Monarch butterflies

Migrating Monarch butterflies, pushed south by last week’s cold front, hang from the branches of a tree growing along the Madre Canal in Lt. Thomas Romanelli Memorial Park on Oct. 8.

Thousands of migrating Monarch butterflies have begun moving through Del Rio.

Del Rioan Ken Hayes said he began noticing the large black-and-orange butterflies in his yard in north Del Rio, between Agarita Drive and Kings Way, on Oct. 3.

“We started seeing them Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 3 and 4, but it was kind of drips and drabs,” Hayes said.

He said he did some work Oct. 8 morning on a friend’s property in the Amistad Acres Subdivision near the Devils River arm of Lake Amistad and found large numbers of Monarchs roosting in a live oak.

Hayes said the Monarchs at his home in Del Rio last year were drawn to a flowering loquat tree in his yard, but added because of the lack of rain, that tree isn’t blooming this year.

Hundreds of Monarchs were reported from roosts in central Texas, including ones from slightly northeast of Abilene, in the Texas towns of Lueders, Cisco and Breckenridge, early last week on the web site of Monarch Watch, www.MonarchWatch.org.

The web site features interactive maps that can be used to track the butterflies as they make their way south to wintering sites in Mexico. Interested citizens can also log into the site and report roosts they have found.

Sarah Howard, a biologist for the Amistad National Recreation Area, on Oct. 8 reported, “Monarchs in the skies this morning.”

The migrating butterflies probably were pushed south by a strong cold front that swept across Texas over the past weekend.

A check of the Monarchs’ annual roosts in parks along the San Felipe Creek on Oct. 8 turned up hundreds in Lt. Thomas Romanelli Memorial Park.

Judy Cox, who lives in the Tierra del Lago Subdivision off U.S. Highway 90 west of Del Rio, said she noticed Monarchs on her property.

“I saw them first thing in the morning, in our ash and aust trees. They were everywhere. It was solid Monarchs,” Cox said.

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