The Last Monarch Report: 04 January 2012

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By Bob Pish
Photos by the author.

Today saw the release of the last two Monarch Butterflies, both males.

I started this morning by hand feeding each, and then placing them back in the Monarch house.

Then when the temperature reached about 60 degrees I moved the Monarch House out on the patio to let them have some more real sunlight and warm themselves a bit more.

I then took them out again and hand fed them and still had to use a pin to unfurl their proboscis and dip it into the spoon full of honey water. I held them there over the food for a considerable amount of time as they seemed to want to eat hearty perhaps sensing something was up with the bright light, minor earthquakes [as I moved the box] and the change of view.

Then I lifted the plastic front panel and took this picture before their departure. But they were not too interested in departure. Maybe these were “couch Monarchs.”

Then one flew up and headed south but landed high in a mesquite tree. The other did not budge so I lifted him out and put him on my hand. And took a group picture of the last Monarch and me. But again he seemed quite relaxed and content to sit there for quite a while and was unfazed by my movements to take the picture. Finally I “lofted” him into the air.

He circled around a bit and landed high in a Mesquite over the patio. Both Monarchs have remained in their tree perches now for a couple of hours occasionally flapping their wings but not flying away.

This ends what for me has been a very interesting experiment.

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