Deciduous Forest Animals (page 2)
- Lay the sheet of copy paper over the pattern shown here. Trace all the fold lines and the monarch outline. Cut out the pattern.
- Fold the paper in half along fold line B so that the monarch outline is on the inside; then fold flaps A and C out toward the center fold.
- Attach a paper clip under the front end, as shown.
- Holding the paper from below (on fold line B), adjust the flaps so that they are parallel to the ground. Then throw the paper to make it glide through the air.
The paper monarch will glide through the air before landing.
Most insects in temperate climates can survive the cold winters. But monarch butterflies need more heat to stay alive, so they migrate to warmer places during the winter. Day length and temperature changes influence the migration of the monarch. Monarchs in northern regions west of the Rocky Mountains migrate to trees along the California coast. Monarchs in northern regions east of the Rocky Mountains migrate farther south to the forests high in the mountains of Mexico.
Summer monarchs have an average life span of about four to six weeks. However, the over winter monarchs that are born in late summer live for about nine months. These butterflies migrate south during the winter and begin the return trip north as the weather begins to warm and days grow longer. They then mate and finish their lives normally.
The migrating monarchs have fat stored in their abdomens. This fat not only fuels their flight of one to three thousand miles, but it must also last until the next spring, when they migrate back north. As they migrate southward, monarchs stop to feed and actually gain weight during the trip! It is believed that to conserve energy, monarchs often hold their wings open and without moving their wings they glide (fly without engine power) on air currents as they travel south.
More Fun With Migration!
You can help feed migrating monarchs by planting a butterfly garden. This is a garden of flowers that will supply nectar (sugary liquid in flowers), which is food for butterflies. Milkweeds are an important part of any butterfly garden. They not only provide nectar for many kinds of butterflies but are also the only plants the caterpillars of the monarch will accept as a food source. Milkweeds are rapidly disappearing as land is cleared for buildings. So backyard milkweed patches are becoming more important as a way of sustaining the monarch butterfly population. Find out more about which plants in your area would be suitable for planting in a butterfly garden. A local plant nursery, on-line sites, as well as butterfly books can provide information.
- Pringle, Laurene. An Extraordinary Life. New York: Orchard Books, 1997. Introduces the life cycle, feeding habits, migration patterns, and mating habits of the monarch butterfly through the observation of one particular monarch.
- Schneck, Marcus H. Creating a Butterfly Garden: A Guide to Attracting and Identifying Butterfly Visitors. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994. Explains the life cycle and, migrating patterns of butterflies, as well as how to attract butterflies to a backyard garden.
- VanCleave, Janice. Animals. New York: Wiley, 1993. Experiments about how animals keep warm and other animal experiments. Each chapter contain ideas that can be turned into award-winning science fair projects.
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.