Date: 9/7/19 9:35 am From: Ellen Weatherbee <eew...> Subject: [birders] OT (monarch food) Goldenrods & Asters
This observation should be also true for much of Michigan. I spend quite a bit of time on Cockburn Island, Canada 🇨🇦(between Drummond Island, USA, and Manitoulin Island, Ontario. It is one of the areas where birds and butterflies land on their journey south. All summer we have had a fair number of monarchs, and this past week has shown a huge influx of them, as they fed and rested, after crossing the North Channel from the Canadian mainland.
There is very little visitation this time of year on the milkweeds, although earlier in the year, there was.
Their apparent much-preferred plants this time of year for nectar are tall goldenrod, Canada goldenrod, and flat-topped white aster. (Solidago altissima, S. canadensis, and Doellingeria umbellata.) It is fine to promote the value of milkweeds, but I would strongly suggest adding goldenrods and asters to protect and promote wherever possible. There are many acres of these plants literally covered with monarchs, on both private property and on Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) property.