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The Buzz

Peak Monarch Migration is Right Around the Corner

(Photo by Glenn P. Knoblock)

If you enjoy the sight of colorful monarch butterflies fluttering about, you're going to love the next few weeks. That's because peak monarch migration season is quickly approaching.

They'll need to travel 3,000 miles to reach their overwintering grounds in Mexico and those in northern Wisconsin and Michigan have already begun heading south. According to Monarch Watch, peak time for monarchs in Will County is estimated to be from Sept. 8-20.

It's during that stretch that we'll be seeing all of the monarchs that have been emerging locally as well as those migrating from up north and passing through. 


Strong winds and cold fronts can significantly alter the timing, but the estimates are based on reports to Monarch Watch and data collected from thousands of tagged butterflies.

Journey North also maps the monarchs' migration and has put together a "peak migration" map to help provide some real-time data.


The peak migration period can yield some impressive numbers of butterflies. For example, it was last year that a 70-mile-wide swarm of painted lady butterflies appeared on a weather radar.

Even if a giant swarm like that doesn't happen, set aside some time to venture out in the preserves and do some monarch spotting. Odds are, you won't be disappointed.

Snap a picture of your find and post it to our Will County Wildlife Facebook group and, as long as it was taken within the confines of one of our forest preserves, be sure to enter our Preserve the Moment Photo Contest.


Stay up-to-date on the happenings in Will County's forest preserves by subscribing to our digital newsletter, The Citizen. Signing up is easy, free of charge and provides subscribers with weekly updates on Forest Preserve news, upcoming events, and other fun and useful information for the whole family.

Think Twice Before Your Next Sip and Skip the Straw Instead


Next time you order a drink from a restaurant, think twice before you unwrap the straw. Americans use millions of straws a day, and many of them end up as litter, eventually making their way into ours lakes and rivers. National Skip the Straw Day, held every February, aims to change that. 

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Creature Feature: The Wacky Woodcock


The American woodcock is related to the sandpiper, but you wouldn't know it based on its behavior. Woodcocks are known for their unusual antics, including elaborate and sometimes noisy "sky dances" and a weird walk to help them find food.

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Skip the Stink: How to Keep Stink Bugs at Bay


Winter is stink bug season, at least indoors. If you are finding these bugs around your house, don't squish them or step on them unless you're prepared for their noxious odor. Instead, your best bet is to prevent them from getting inside your house in the first place.

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