Autumn Painted Lady Migration in Central Iowa

A southward Painted Lady migration has been underway in central Iowa for at least the past three days. After a summer with none observed here, a few appeared in late August into mid-September, and then recently, larger numbers arrived after September 21. Although most have been spotted nectaring, several have been seen flying southward after the passage of a cool front on September 24. As of today, September 26, winds continue blowing from northerly directions, carrying Painted Ladies southward at heights of from 5 to 10 meters/15 to 30 feet.

Posted by iowabiologist iowabiologist, September 26, 2022 07:30 PM

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I went out after 4 p.m. today, September 26, to a prairie bioswale on campus to look for Painted Ladies. It was cool (20 C/68 F), windy, with 90% altocumulus cloud cover. I found 12 Painted Ladies, 10 of which were basking either on the lawn on the west edge of the bioswale or in sheltered clearings among the prairie plants. Only the other two were nectaring. Possibly when it becomes too cool and cloudy for them to fly, they take shelter among tall vegetation in just this way.

Posted by iowabiologist 4 months ago (Flag)

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