Rain and waiting to release Monarch

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #61036

    quiescent
    Participant

    Hi
    I have a beautiful monarch that eclosed yesterday late afternoon (Monday) when it was just started to rain. She didn’t get a chance to fly off before it rained and got dark. I have brought her inside in one of my monarch castles to protect from the heavy rain + thunderstorms. The weather forecast is showing heavy rains right through to late Thursday.
    How long can a Monarch butterfly go before they need nectar? Should I be putting her outside in the most sheltered space I can find even though the weather is awful with heavy downpours and thunder etc?
    I’m also worried as I have seen a praying mantis in my garden so I don’t want her to be an easy dinner!
    Thank you
    Melanie

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #61373

    BlueMoon
    Participant

    Hi to bron. My experience is that the butterflies are more likely to feed when they are warm. Out in the garden they are busy flitting around at the sunniest times of the day visiting nectar sources. Early in the morning they are likely to be too cold to be interested or capable of even moving, let alone feeding.
    Replying to other comments regarding flying, again, they need to be warmed up a little to be able to fly. If they are cold, or fallen to a damp grass area, place them somewhere sheltered and sunny or on a tree trunk in the sun where they can soak up some warmth, then they are much more likely to be able to fly well.

    #61353

    bron
    Participant

    Is dawn the best time to try and feed Monarchs? I cant get mine to eat so this morning I am trying at day break to see if i can tempt her. Butterfly fun facts say to put a new clean kitchen scrubber well rinsed then soaked with gatorade so they dont get sugary feet and wings, i like the banana peel idea so will try that first

    #61314

    BlueMoon
    Participant

    The Watermelon idea is a good tip from Leslie D Thank you. I have been through those situations many times over the years and tried various solutions. One I more recently discovered is to take a section of Banana Peel, Fleshy side up, scrape the soft white flesh with a knife then make a watery paste with it still on the banana skin. Take your butterfly and stand it on the banana skin and just watch that feeder get to work!

    #61275

    Jeannette
    Participant

    I had the same thing with one of mine. She emerged and had enough time to pump up her wings but didn’t try to fly then the heavens opened so I used a marigold plant to encourage her onto a flower then brought the plant and her inside. She hung there for a couple of days, but when she tried to fly she fell. I put her back on the flower and another couple of days went by then suddenly she flew to the curtain and hung on. I walked over to her and suddenly to was off the curtain and on to my shoulder. The sky was clear so I walked outside and off she went – flying like she had been doing it all her life!

    #61042

    quiescent
    Participant

    Thank you and thats great news about your little butterfly. Mine managed to fly off yesterday late afternoon during the break in the weather. It is windy here but will settle and no more rain. Yay! Thanks for your support, I appreciate it.

    #61041

    LeslieD
    Participant

    A happy outcome, she just flew away with two other girls. She just needed to have a few practice runs and then she was fine, I think the sugar rush the other day would have helped too. Southerly dying down and sun is out. amazing storms last night complete with loud thunder, impressive lights show and torrential rain. good luck with your critter!

    #61039

    quiescent
    Participant

    Thanks Lesley, I made my own honey nectar for her yesterday which she seemed happy to drink. I tried putting her outside yesterday and today but within 30 mins the heavens opened up and it poured down so brought her back inside.
    It looks like the rain is now moving away so I will try again and put her in a sheltered spot. I’m just aware she may not get the energy to fly off with it being later in the day but will see how she goes.
    Thanks so much for your reply.
    Good luck with your little butterfly. Hope she figures it out and gets to fly away to shelter.

    #61038

    LeslieD
    Participant

    I’ve had a similar issue this week. Its been very wet, but warm and not a lot of wind. I’ve waited till the butterflies have been completely dry after e closing and then put them on plants in a sheltered area outside. The oldest one is from Monday morning. Its very calm here at the moment and has not been raining. and 4 of the 5 have flown off. The oldest one has very minor cosmetic wing damage but the overall integrity of the wings look good. She is not a natural flier and is just flutting .. but I hope she will learn as some seem to need to do. I put her on a piece of watermelon and she fed on that. I’ve put her in a sheltered area for now as there is supposedly a strong southerly with potentially torrential rain coming.

    So, my rule of thumb is after 48 hours offer food (I find watermelon is popular and easy to feed) and keep sheltered from strong wind especially.

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

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