Can you still see monarch butterflies on Lake Erie shores? Yes, just not as many

A group of Monarch butterflies roosted on a branch at Wendy Park near downtown Cleveland.on Tuesday. (Gus Chan, The Plain Dealer)

You can still see the monarch butterflies at Wendy Park, stopping over on their migration from Canada to Mexico.

But you won’t see a whole cloud of them at once because the weather is looking warmer and sunnier.

Thousands of butterflies arrived on Lake Erie’s southern shores, beginning last week. And because of the rain and cold, they didn’t leave until Wednesday. That meant you could walk around lakefront parks, surrounded by butterflies.

See all sorts of butterfly photos on cleveland.com.

The butterflies get tired flying over the lake. Cleveland provides a place to rest under leaves and under the cover of trees.

When the weather is good, monarchs rest overnight and take off the next morning, says Cleveland Metroparks naturalist Marty Calabrese. He called the butterflies “solar powered,” since they need the warmth of daylight to fly.

“We’re only going to see them if there’s a build up of them,” he said. Wednesday, there were about 2,000 butterflies at Wendy Park.

They haven’t congregated in those kind of numbers since 2015.

But on Thursday, when I stopped by, I saw only two butterflies.

The butterflies are still arriving, Calabrese said.

“The fallout is over, but the migration will continue,” he said. “You go there today you’re going to see a monarch, but you’re not going to see hundreds or thousands.”

See the butterflies from 2015 in Calabrese’s video below.

 

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