More than two decades ago, I spotted a monarch on Sea Island in February.  To say the least, I was surprised.  At the time, I convinced myself that the butterfly might have been one that was released during one of the many wedding ceremonies staged at the Cloister.  However, recent evidence suggests that the butterfly might have been trying to winter in the state.

       It seems that last year volunteers reported more than 5,800 monarch sighting made throughout the Southeast and Gulf States.  This has prompted biologists to launch studies designed to determine how many monarchs are seen each winter in this part of the world and how they might affect the future of the monarch.

       One of these studies is named Monarchs Overwintering in Southeastern States. It is being sponsored by a number of partners including the University of Georgia, Georgia Wildlife Conservation Section, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and Monarchs over Georgia.

       We all can help by reporting any monarchs seen from December 1-March 1 in the states of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

       In you want to take part in this fascinating study, the first thing you need to do is create a free account at Once have accomplished this, learn how to report monarch sightings at Then whenever you spot a butterfly during the reporting period, submit it at

4 thoughts on “MONARCHS IN THE WINTER?

  1. I have seen numerous monarchs in my coastal plain garden. While I’m happy to see them, I know that they should not be here this time of year.

  2. Thanks for this information, Terry. I just read today that they are seeing vast amounts of monarchs at Pismo Beach, California. I also listened to two scientists recently and they were stating that there are such variences in the amount of monarchs seen in their wintering areas yearly that they are unsure how endangered they really are. So it’s an ongoing problem nonetheless. I’ve seen several sulphurs and zebra longwings lately taking nectar on Amistaid salvia and pentas. But the lack of most bird species at feeders is not good news.

    • Nudicale,

      Thanks for sharing the monarch information. It is amazing how much we are learning about monarchs. It is a shame though it the the monarch’s decline to prompt research on it.


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