Monarch Butterflies on The Greenway

27, Aug, 2020

It’s Monarch season on The Greenway and for the first time, the Conservancy is sharing our go-to hot spots for seeing these beautiful butterflies in the park. 

Historically, adult Monarchs can be seen reliably on The Greenway from late July to October, peaking from mid August to September. Check out our “hot spots” map below to find the best places on The Greenway to check for these native pollinators! 

When looking for Monarchs on The Greenway, here are some pro tips from Tori Hiney, Ecological Health Care Horticulturist at the Conservancy: 

  1. Look for ragged or chewed up looking milkweed plants (photo below) if you’re hoping to see some juveniles or the chrysalis stage of the Monarch. 
  2. If you see an adult, patiently watch. You may get to see her lay an egg!  You’ll know if you see her swing her entire belly (thorax to ovipositor) under the leaf.  It will be quick so look closely! 
  3. If you’re looking to see the juvenile stages (egg, larvae, pupa), consider positioning yourself to view the underneath of the leaves rather than handling the leaves themselves.  
  4. Be patient and look close; butterfly eggs and new larvae are very small. The whole transitional period is a delicate one.  
  5. Never touch Monarch eggs, larvae, pupa, or butterflies, as it is easy to do harm. 
  6. Anything in bloom is fair game for an adult Monarch to feed, but native plants are far and away their choice.

Milkweed Plant

If you are safely able to visit The Greenway, remember to practice appropriate physical distancing and to wear a face covering. Share you Monarch pictures by tagging The Greenway on social media!