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Painted Lady butterfly migration: Seeing lots of butterflies? They’re BACK!

By Gary Bogue
Monday, March 30th, 2009 at 8:13 am in Butterflies, Migration, Painted Lady butterfly.

Painted lady butterfly. Photo by Joe Oliver, Walnut Creek, Calif.
painted lady3

The Painted Lady butterflies (Vanessa cardui) are back migrating through California even as we speak.

Dr. Art Shapiro is a professor of Evolution and Ecology at UC-Davis and a top butterfly expert. You can find out more than you ever wanted to know about these beautiful Painted Ladies and their migration by checking out Art Shapiro’s Butterfly Site: http://butterfly.ucdavis.edu/node/446

Painted lady butterfly. Photo by Joe Oliver, Walnut Creek, Calif.
painted lady1

I have received 19 e-mails from readers who have spotted these beautiful little butterflies throughout the Bay Area since last Wednesday (March 25).

*** If anyone else has seen these migrating insects, please add your comments and thoughts below at the end of this blog. Please be sure and include when (date and time) and where (exact as possible location) you saw the butterflies

BUTTERFLY E-MAILS:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Gary: I live in south Fremont (Warm Springs) and I have noticed an amazing increase in the butterfly population this year, maybe 10 times the previous 15 years that I have lived here.
What do you think is causing this? Is it the weather or the lack of small birds to eat them or the newly reclaimed wetlands in our area?
Also, the all seem to be flying somewhat north no matter what way the wind is blowing.
I wonder where they are going? Any insight would be appreciated.
Frank McClung, Fremont

Thursday, March 26, 2009
Hi Gary: it is about 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon and I am seeing hundreds, if not thousands, of small butterflies all traveling in the same direction (north) in Castro Valley. It is difficult to observe their colors and markings, as they are traveling at a pretty good clip. I think they are yellowish, and about the size of a quarter.
Here’s my questions: do you know what type of butterflies these may be; do you know where they came from/are going; and is this a common occurrence? Thanks in advance for any answers,
Dave, Castro Valley

Morning Gary: Is it me or is there an unusual amount of butterflies around today? (Thursday.) I noticed it at work in Walnut Creek, (others did too) and then again on my way home to Antioch?
Thanks so much to you and everyone else who helped bring the Goose Family Saga to us too!!  :-)
Pat in Antioch

Dear Gary – Listen – are these migrating Panting Ladies? I’m trying to avoid bumping into when driving on Oak Grove Rd. in Concord since yesterday? Groups of butterflies looking like Ladies are flying across Concord – such a brave little creatures! Or may be they are Common Buckeyes?
Helen

Gary: is a butterfly migration happening!!  dunno what kind…noticed them yesterday and again today flying to the north over highway 4.  they seem so fragile to be making such a trip! /Linda

Friday, March 27, 2009
Gary: There is some kind of butterfly migration going on in Livermore. They’re everywhere — trying to keep them from smashing onto the windshield. Cindi

Gary: Have you noticed all the butterflies migrating north lately? Are these our painted ladies? Sheri

Dear Gary:
While waiting for my son to complete his trumpet lesson this Friday, March 27, I counted 700 butterflies pass by me in eleven minutes. I then gave up counting, as I became a bit dizzy (too much rapid eye movement). The whole town of Benicia seems to be a-flutter. These mid-sized orange butterflies are moving in one direction (heading North). Is this a migration or sudden hatching in a local area?
After watching the three hour memorial service for the fallen OPD officers, it was calming and healing to see such a demonstration of nature’s simple wonders. I felt a little bit of my sadness flutter away on their tiny, delicate wings.
Linda Halliday, Benicia

Gary:
Yesterday morning I noticed a spastic stream of butterflies going through my back yard. While out running errands, I saw more. I starting timing the length of time between sightings and it looks like I saw at least one, if not a clump of them, every eight seconds or so. They were not large enough to be monarchs and the coloring was wrong, too. Any clue what variety would be migrating through Pleasanton now? TTFN Dodie, Pleasanton

Saturday, March 28, 2009
Gary:
We have tons of butterflies in our yard. Amazing to watch, however curious, are these Monarch Butterflies that are migrating? They are smaller than what I associate for size for a Monarch. Thank you in advance for your response.
Dave & Val Johnson, Pleasanton

Gary: The Painted Lady butterflies are on their annual trek again! I feel privileged to be witness to this beautiful event. The first scouts began flying southeast to northwest, by my home in SE Antioch, in ones and twos on Wednesday 25 March. Today, Saturday, the groups of dozens have appeared. I am sure the clusters will become larger and more numerous soon. Gary, from whence do they come and where is their goal; and where do they get those tiny GPS devices? Fordcpe40, Antioch

Painted lady butterfly. Photo by Joe Oliver, Walnut Creek, Calif.
painted lady2

Sunday, March 29, 2009
Rossmoor Nature Lovers & Friends:
I’ve been negligent in not mentioning the seasonal migration of the “Painted Lady” butterflies this year. Every year they come streaming north from southern desert areas in large numbers. Sometimes their numbers even attract media attention when they literally number in the millions.
I’ve been seeing them in fairly significant numbers the last few days – today was sort of a crescendo (I felt like I was being swept along with them while I was walking north along Rossmoor Parkway). They are tiny (a little over 2″ wingspan) and their flight is accurately described as “fast and erratic”.
One place you can see large numbers of them, is by the driving range along Stanley Dollar where they are flying up against the fabric netting behind the fence. The butterflies tend to range back-and-forth higher and higher until they finally encounter the top of the net and can continue on their way north. Robert Carlton, Rossmoor, Walnut Creek

Dear Gary:
The most incredible event happened in our backyard yesterday. We remember it occurred a few years ago as well. It looked like a migration of painted lady butterflies, dozens at a time  They came up over the hill. Some enjoyed the flowers in our backyard, and others just flew by. They swarmed through for hours. Does this happen very often?  It was just spectacular.
Sherrie and Gary Moore, Martinez

Dear Gary:
Is this a banner year again for butterfly migration? Suddenly there are butterflies everywhere flying through the yard like that big butterfly migration a few years ago. I don’t remember which kind. It’s kind of fun watching them all flying in the same direction and wondering where they’re all coming from. Don’t they have to land somewhere? I guess they like the nice weather too. I’m seeing my lizard again and lots of baby ones. The sharp shinned hawk is back waiting in the bushes by the back fence again and the sparrows are fighting over prospective mates. Mocking birds are defending their territories (How can they fly in formation like fighter jets ?). Ah, Spring has sprung. New stories waiting to be written.
Pat in Antioch

Gary:
Good day to you from up here on Ashwood Drive in Martinez.
Today is Sunday the 29th and a glorious day  it is. All day yesterday and even more today, wave after wave of those wonderful creatures called Painted Ladies have been flying by, headed North.
They come in pairs, then in groups of three, four or five, flying their little hearts out, skimming over the carports, the trees and our houses. An amazing sight. Not seen by me in the past few years. The last time was in the Spring of 2005.
Just another lovely day in the neighborhood and I’m so glad I was here to see it.
Hope your day goes well.
Chuck Wiscavage, aka The Old Chief,, Martinez

Dear Gary:
Since mid last week I have been enjoying watching the northern migration of the painted lady butterflies. Boy, do they zip along. I’ve estimated over 1,000/hr. at peak times.
I live next to the Iron Horse Trail in Alamo and many of them use the trail as their preferred route. This makes sense since there are no vertical obstacles for them to fly over. However, at my location the trail runs north-west (true). I have observed that a few of them will leave the trail and fly over my house, change their direction and head off toward true north. Pretty amazing.
Should we wonder about their ability to navigate with apparent ease or wonder about our inability to do the same?
S. Garratt Sharp, Alamo

Dear Gary: San Ramon’s all aflutter. For the past week I’ve been watching a huge butterfly migration. I’d love to know where these little orange butterflies are coming from and where they are headed. I saw this event several years ago and am so excited to watch these butterflies once again.
Ann Kline, San Ramon

Gary:
Today, Sunday 3-29-09, I watched thousands of butterflies fly through my backyard. They looked like little monarch butterflies. It was truly an amazing sight. What was all this about?
Take care,
Robert in Martinez

Mr. Bogue: I live in southeastern Livermore, and for the last three days there has been a constant flow of what I believe to be Painted Lady butterflies flying due North. Occasionally a few will stop and feed on my flowering rosemary shrubs. Any idea where they are going as they are definitely in solidarity? I don’t know of any “when the painted lady’s return to Antioch” scenario. This is a mighty big migration. Your thoughts? Mike Frogner, Livermore

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65 Responses to “Painted Lady butterfly migration: Seeing lots of butterflies? They’re BACK!”

  1. Barbi Bissinger Says:

    Hi Gary! Here in south Pleasanton we had a pretty constant stream of Painted Ladies flowing to the North all weekend. They didn’t seem to dally among the flowers or sprinklers, just fluttered along their way. There seem to be more of them this Spring than in past years.

  2. Bob Brittain Says:

    Gary,
    I have seen many thousands for the last week in Walnut Creek Open Space and on Mt. Diablo. THey seldom seem to stop for a rest, but I took one good photo that I will send for your collection.

  3. Ruth Mullin Says:

    Lots of Painted Ladies are fluttering through Moraga this morning, as they have been for the past few days.

  4. Jan Jessup Says:

    Gary, Saw a lot of painted ladies on Saturday March 28th at my home off Cowell Road in Concord. Have been seeing them for about a week but they were really out there on Saturday. So delicate and beautiful, they make me smile. All were traveling north. Wish I could fly with them.

  5. Jocelyn Combs Says:

    Gary,

    My 4 your old granddaughter Sierra and I have been watching the wonderful painted lady butterflies flit though our yard. Sierra wants one to land on her finger but so far no luck. She tries to sneak up on them. Hmmm, the picture of concentration….

  6. Jocelyn Combs Says:

    Oops. We live in the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood of Pleasanton and it is 10:30 am on Monday, March 30th. We have maybe a dozen in our yard.

  7. Diane Schmidt Says:

    I’ve seen the butterflies here in Los Altos since Saturday. I was just driving up Foothill Expressway (12 noon on 3/30) and there were butterflies covering the road and surrounding neighborhood – I’d say one butterfly every few feet for as far as I could see!

  8. Tim Hoppen Says:

    Gary..On Saturday, March 28th…my girlfriend and I traveled thru Antioch to Brentwood. We first encountered the butterflys on Hwy 4 on the By-Pass…but then noticed they were all around us even when we were on Lone Tree….

    I felt bad because they “crashing” into the windshield and we all know what that mark means….fewer butterflys…

  9. Debbie Says:

    Hi Gary,
    I was out in my yard yesterday, March 29th and watched hundreds of butterflies fly through my backyard. At any given point there was at least 40 or 50 resting on my bushes. Only about 10% stopped to rest and feed the rest just flew through and over my back fence down the valley. I live in Dublin up on Inspiration Circle. I have been here 3 years and this is the first time I have seen these wonderfull butterflies.

  10. David Ogden Says:

    Gary,

    On Sunday, March 29th, we saw hundreds flying north on our street (Laurel Drive, near Rudgear Road). Many of them stopped and took a break on our blooming lilac. Standing out in my driveway watching them fly by, it felt like the roadway was their freeway. And how welcome they were.

  11. Don Says:

    Friday 3/27 in Crockett Hills Regional park. Hundreds of butterfly’s passing thru heading north over Carquinez straight.

  12. Michael Says:

    Saw them on Sunday afternoon as they flew straight now down I-580 headed westbound out of the Livermore area. Must have been thousands of them heading towards our car as we drove Eastbound from Castro Valley to Livermore.

  13. Jen Says:

    Two of by children and I went hiking out at Round Valley over the weekend and saw an amazing number of butterflies out there. Many of them were stopping for a sip of water out of the creek.

  14. James Dowdy Says:

    Gary,

    Thank you for answering the questions I’ve been asking of all my neighbors: “What kind of butterfly is this and does this happen every year?” This is my first full summer in the East Bay area so the butterfly migration is new to me. I live in Dublin and have seen thousands of these beautiful, winged commuters fly over my south-facing fence then over my house. Nothing deters them for long; in fact I’ve seen several fly along my fence, increasing and decreasing in altitude until finally cresting the obstacle and continuing their journey. I layed in the yard with my dog on Saturday watching this never-ending event and it was an amazing experience (however my dog may disagree as evidenced by the dream he started having a few minutes in). This is just one more of many lines on my list of “Why I LOVE the Bay Area!” Thank you again!

  15. dail Says:

    There’s a huge oak tree along the side of my house that’s probably 200 or 300 hundred years old. On Saturday, there were hundreds of these beautiful butterflies darting in and out around those craggy old tree limbs – it was magical!

  16. Gary Bogue Says:

    This is also just one of the BIG reasons I LOVE the Bay Area. It is truly magical! I sure wish I could have seen them dancing around that old oak. Wow. /Gary

  17. Carolynn Says:

    We live outside Rossmoor, off Olympic. We must have seen hundreds flying up the street and over the house yesterday as we sat outside eating lunch yesterday. My 9 year old was so interested in knowing what they were, why they were here, where they were going…thanks for the information! you’re a mother’s great resource.

  18. elizabeth lydon Says:

    Hi Gary, I live in Lafayette by the reservoir and hundreds of Painted ladies have been streaming over my house for three days now. I was in the Moraga Country Club yesterday and they were everywhere as well. So beautiful and fun!

  19. Jane Says:

    I was at the Lafayette reservoir this morning and saw waves of these beautiful butterflies flying by. Fabulous! As I sat, I watched a pair of magnificent herons circling the lake and a red-tailed hawk shadowing one of them. Lucky us to live in the East Bay!

  20. roxann kay Says:

    Monday March eo. Hundreds, no. Thousands flying across the El Cerrito hills, just like last year.

  21. Dan Says:

    Came back from a bike ride and noticed a lot of these butterflies at my house in Danville – near Monte Vista High School. They were all over our flowering rosemary!

  22. Joanne Says:

    I’m in Oakland near 580 and Park Blvd. While sitting on my west facing back deck today around 2:15 pm I saw scores of butterflies fly across mine and neighbors backyards — coming from the south east direction. They are flying so fast that I can’t tell where they are headed or if they have landed anywhere around here. What a magnificent sight!

  23. Deanna Says:

    Gary,

    I was driving through Crow Canyon Sunday afternoon and saw thousands of butterflies floating all over the area. Then, just moments ago we watched thousands more flying across our parking lot at the Hayward Airport. I feel truly blessed to have seen such a magnificent display from Mother Nature.

  24. Steve Says:

    Yesterday afternoon I saw lots of these guys “commuting” down my street near the Boundary Oaks golf course, all traveling northward (against the wind). I only watched for a few minutes but saw probably 100 pass by; it was a constant stream! How the heck do they know where they’re going?

  25. kEVIN Says:

    On Sunday, I noticed waves of them heading north by Baylands park in Redwood City.

  26. Cindy and John Says:

    Hi Gary,
    We live in Martinez, in the Alhambra Valley, with an unobstructed view of Mt. Diablo. What a sight to see hundreds of Painted Lady butterflies as a beautiful forefront to this wondrous mountain. So delicate in nature against a gorgeous view. As we were standing outside, almost trying to touch these little beauties, we are reminded of the precious gift we have been given. NATURE!!! We are truly blessed to live in such a natural setting. Let’s hope all of the other Flora and Fauna of the valley are enjoying this as much as we are.

  27. Kristine Says:

    Today I got home (American Canyon) around 2pm and there were thousands of Painted Ladies flying over the house in a northern direction. It lasted for about an hour, amazing!

  28. Analice Decker Says:

    Gary,
    Yesterday (3/29) mid-afternoon there were hundreds of orange butterflies passing in a northerly direction over my house and the back yards behind mine. I was out of town from Sat. early morning until yesterday aft. and had not noticed any until yesterday. I wondered if they were the same species that had the mass migration here before. Thanks for the website of Art Shapiro of UC Davis and for informing us of these lovely creatures.
    Analice
    There are still a few flitting by.

  29. Samantha Says:

    Looking out my living room window I noticed the whole street covered in butterflies, very beautiful just passing by. They have been coming through for hours, there’s thousands and thousands! Hayward CA

  30. Katherine Todd Says:

    Hi Gary,
    I was in Walnut Creek yest. (March 29th) and saw MANY painted ladies flying north. I live in Napa, and today have noticed them flying through our community. Where are they going?
    Katherine, Napa

  31. GQ Says:

    We saw one at Emerald Bay (South Lake Tahoe) on Sunday afternoon (March29, 2009).

  32. Florence Says:

    I’ve been watching the Painted Ladies float through our yard off Sanders Ranch Rd in Moraga all day. Some fly right by and others are stopping on our rosemary and other flowering plants in the yard. I came in to email you to see if you knew what was going on and Voila!, the answer was already here. Believe it or not, I’ve lived here almost 20 years and never remember seeing them in the yard! Maybe I just didn’t take the time to look.

  33. Dara Says:

    Lots in West Pleasanton—many more yesterday than today (Monday), but they’re still here. Yesterday, there seemed to be thousands moving steadily south to north, dive-bombing us as we drove around. Today they’re more sparse, just fluttering around. We were caught in the middle of this migration a few years ago in SoCal, and watched them fly in steady streams down my in-laws’ street there for over an hour.

  34. Marc Kupper Says:

    On Sunday (March 29th) noon to 2pm a little north of Larkey Park it seemed they were coming through one or two at a time. They did not seem to not stop for the flowers even though Painted Ladies are usually common the garden. Around 3pm I made a trip to John Muir hospital and there were clusters of 10 to 20 butterflies headed north.

    On March 26, 2005 we were in Big Tujunga canyon which is a little east of Van Nuys in southern CA and also saw the Painted Lady migration then with clouds that looked like hundreds at a time. It was in a wilderness area with many flowering plants meaning plenty of butterflies were also taking pit stops. It was great as I like to take pictures of butterflies but normally they seem to zip away just as I’m about to shoot. There they had bushes with ten or more feeding butterflies each and I had no trouble getting pictures.

  35. Jeannine Says:

    I noticed them here in Martinez (Talbart Street, southwest of downtown) on Friday (March 27), and they’re still going strong today (Monday). Over on Alhambra Way near Alhambra Avenue they were really thick on Saturday the 28th. The ones up here on Talbart Street are feeding–maybe twenty or so at any given time when the yard warms up.

  36. Catherine Says:

    The kids want to know more about the Painted Lady butterflies we have been watching migrate past our home in Livermore for the past few days. I don’t remember seeing them in these numbers before, is there something different or have we just been very unobservant.

  37. Mojy Says:

    They are here in Pleasanton also! We have been watching them fly by as fast as they can. They seem to look like tiny Monarchs but you know they are not! I think last Saturday March 28th was when they seem to be in thousands if not millions flying by like leaves floating in the wind.

  38. Joyce Says:

    Saturday, March 28, I saw many painted lady butterflies between Mitchell Canyon and Deer Flat on in Mt. Diablo State Park between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. I saw and photographed them lighting on Hounds Tongue blooms in the upper switchbacks, and on the Globe Lily trail slightly above the creek and canyon. They were also lighting on Fiddlenecks in bloom in the canyon close to the creek, but the greatest numbers were lighting close to the creek on dried horse manure.

    Sunday, March 29, on the softball fields of College Park High School in Pleasant Hill, there were hundreds of them flying across the field from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. flying fairly low to the ground, and not lighting, but flying straight through.

  39. Idell Weydemeyer Says:

    Painted Ladies came to my garden (El Sobrante, Rancho & No Rancho Rd)on Monday (29th) and maybe other days (I was out of town for almost a week). About 60-80 stopped all morning to nectar on Cleveland Sage, a sea coastal wallflower(Erysimum), San Diego Sage , Tibetan Buddleia, Peruvian Scilla, European Plum, Cleveland Sage, Wild Radish, and European Lilac. They also warmed on paving stones since it was a cool & windy morning. Later in the afternoon, they streamed past in the hundreds and only a few stopped to nectar then.

  40. Julie Nelson Says:

    On Sunday, March 29th, we were thrilled to see countless butterflies flying through our garden in Pleasant Hill at an amazing pace — a few stopping to enjoy our African Daisies, Lavender plants and Lilac Tree… but most just flying directly over our house. What a fascinating and peaceful sight! My 3 year old daughter wanted to catch them, but giggled with delight as she saw them fly around. We all enjoyed watching this very special treat. :)

  41. Victor Says:

    Noon, March 31, 2009….I’m a 5th grade teacher in San Lorenzo CA and decided to sit in my car and have my lunch. As I watched, hundreds of butterflies flew by…how peaceful it was. I am going in now to tell my class about it and search the web to see what’s going on…

  42. Gabriella Says:

    My friend and I saw quite a few of them yesterday on our walk north along HWY 680 in the downtown Walnut Creek area. They seemed to be flying along the creek? Not thousands or even hundreds together, but just a steady sighting of them everywhere we went. Some looked tired and like they weren’t going to make it much further. I think this is the tail end of the pack. Good luck, little guys!!!!!

  43. Janis Says:

    Around noon today we were at the creek at the base of Mission Peak and saw hundreds moving past. A lot of them stopped to feed on maple tree flowers of all things; not what you’d think of as your typical butterfly flower. I have never seen any migration like this one in this area and I’ve lived here 25 years. The whole mission area is a constant stream. It is totally cool!

  44. Wendy Says:

    Hi Gary,

    I’ve been watching them fly north outside my window all day (3/31). About 1-3 fly by about every few seconds. I live in northern Martinez. They make me smile. I don’t recall a migration like this before.

  45. Kristen Says:

    We saw hundreds if not thousands on Saturday afternoon in South San Jose. They were flying due north as they flew up and over roof tops and back down toward the lawns. They flew in groupings, three to four at a time followed quickly by another group. We have never seen anything like this before at our home which we have lived in for 10 years.

    Sunday was another day of sightings, but Saturday seemed to be heavier butterfly traffic in our neighborhood.

  46. Luke Olson ( age 10 ) Says:

    Hi Gary,
    My brother and I have seen thousands of these butterflies all over Lafayette and Walnut Creek. We first noticed them when we were going to see our grandma at the manor care Tice Vally in Walnut Creek next to Rossmoor on Sunday at about 1:30pm.

  47. Selina Says:

    I counted 25 butterflies per minute as I stopped along a creek trail in Elk Grove. But there was a steady stream of painted ladies traveling along the major streets and along I5. These butterflies have a perilous journey because their route covers our major traffic arteries. If you see a yellow spat on the windshield, there goes another painted lady! Good thing there are millions to enjoy in flight.

  48. Jennifer Brazelton Says:

    I saw many butterflies today at Merritt College in the Oakland hills. There was a steady stream all day. They were flying over the parking lot behind building A.

  49. Julie Says:

    We seen thousands since last Wednesday and have not seen any slowdown. We’re in Pleasanton along the 680 freeway. Today there seem to be more than any day, just clusters of them. I’ve yet to see any of them stop, I have my camera, but have not been able to get a picture. What a spectacular sight.

  50. larry Says:

    I saw a constant stream out my window at work (san jose: hellyer and 101) today. Did one count around noon, 57 in a minute.

  51. Del Gundlach Says:

    I live in the Niles District of Fremont and have been here since late in 1991. I see a few migrating Painted Ladies each Spring, but this year the migration is absolutely phenomenal! There must be literally trillions of these fragile-looking insects passing through the Bay Area. They’ve been passing through Niles for going on a week now and their density still seems to be increasing. Like another poster, I counted several hundred in a bit over ten minutes, but I did it by watching their shadows flit over my 15-foot-square rear patio. Given the number passing over 225 square feet of concrete, the total number migrating over the many square miles of the Bay Area must be truly mind boggling!

    What an exquisite sight! Bon Voyage, Ladies!!

  52. B.J. Says:

    Tuesday, March 31st around 2:45PM, at the corner of Hopyard and Inglewood in Pleasanton in the parking lot of my office. A constant flow of one or two every couple of seconds just kept flying north over the office building all afternoon. I think they were stopping at all the blooming trees in the parking lot. Amazing! (I just read this blog this morning and was disappointed that I had never seen them before.)

  53. ASH Says:

    Yesterday (3/31) there was a constant stream heading north from AT&T Park up the Embarcadero. On Sunday, saw thousands in PLeasant Hill – also heading north.

  54. Vanessa Says:

    Thousands of butterflies passed through my Orinda garden all day on Sunday March 31. A few stopped to sip from my just flowering lilacs. Most were “Painted Lady”, but there were other much larger butterflies as well.

  55. Barbara Jenkins Says:

    3/31 I noticed hundreds of them swarming through our back yard at about 4:00 P.M. in Alamo (west side). Way too many to count. A few stopped to snack on our lilac blossoms. We thought they looked like Monarchs, but they were too small. Imagine my surprise when I logged on to ask you about them and found that they’ve been all over the Bay Area.

    Barbara

  56. Ray & Vicki Carlson Says:

    Greetings from Alamo. Butterflies invading our property too! Amazing sight to sit on porch and watch them fly up the hill, some settling on flowers in the garden, others progressing up and over the house. Hundreds and hundreds of them. Spectacular event and loving every minute!

    Vicki and Ray

  57. Aimee Says:

    Constant stream of them headed North today in Napa.

  58. Nancy Says:

    We first noticed them Friday, March 27 and were still seeing them yesterday, April 2. They flew right over our house in Neroly Ranchos, Oakley. The first ones kept on flying but on Sunday, March 29 we noticed they were stopping on the flowering bushes in our front yard. I did find one on our back lawn Tuesday. It didn’t seem injured but wouldn’t fly. I put it on the bush in front and wished it well.

  59. Bill Says:

    Noticed a ton of painted ladies — tons more than I’ve ever seen — whipping through my North Natomas (Sacramento, CA) backyard on Saturday and Sunday, March 28th and 29th. At first, I thought it was just the same one or two butterflies, and then two flew by in tandem. That’s when I knew there was more than one. This appears to be a heavy year for them.

  60. Ron Goodweather Says:

    Gary – I think I saw scattering of these butterflies while crossing Brockway Summit in North Lake Tahoe today, April 7th, I think they were Painted Lady’s? I first thought California Tortoiseshell.

  61. Jerry Says:

    The migration has reached the central Willamette Valley in Oregon. They are very numerous! Haven’t seen this many since?????????

  62. Gary Bogue Says:

    The last really big painted lady butterfly migration was in 2005. /Gary

  63. Tom Brandt Says:

    Painted Ladies arrived in the Tualatin River Valley, Washington County, Oregon, on about the 20th or 21st of April. In the evening of the 21st there were many at dusk flitting in and out of the Douglas-fir trees in our yard in Hillsboro. Here’s a link to a picture on Flickr I took on April 22nd at Jackson Bottom Wetlands:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/12567713@N00/3467614520/

  64. Shash Says:

    I will wait for them next year I guess

  65. Joanne Butler Says:

    Today I have seen so many Butterflies. They look like small Monarchs very pretty. The date is april 16th 2012. Isn’t it early to see butterflies. I live in Canada not far from Niagara Falls and very close to the border of Fort Erie and Buffalo. I have never seen this before. My cherry tree, the side of the house and fence were covered with these. Joanne

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