From Xplor for Kids
August 2010 Issue

Xplor More: Tag a Migrating Monarch

Publish Date

Aug 01, 2010

In mid-September orange-and-black monarch butterflies flutter south to Mexico. You can help biologists track their movements by catching migrating monarchs and putting identification tags on their wings.

  1. Don’t bother trying to net butterflies that flutter by—monarchs are too quick and wary. Instead, wait for one to land on a flower, sneak up from behind, and quickly sweep your net sideways to pluck if from its perch. Pinch the top of the net to trap the monarch in the deep end.
  2. Fold the monarch’s wings up over its back. Hold the butterfly between your thumb and finger along the edge of its forewings. Be gentle but firm. A few scales might come off, but don’t worry. Monarchs are tough!
  3. Hold the tag by its edge and stick it over the mitten-shaped cell on the monarch’s hindwing. Record the tag number and the monarch’s sex, then open your fingers and watch if flutter away. Order tags and learn more at

You can tell this is a male monarch by the little black dots and thin black veins on his hindwings. Females have thicker black veins and no dots.

Also in this issue

Photos With Nop and Dave: Bell Mountain Sunrise

In photography—as in life—sometimes you have to try, try again. Just ask photographer David Stonner.

You Discover

With summer winding down, and autumn gearing up, there’s plenty to discover in August and September. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Wild Jobs: Duck Counter Andy Raedeke

It’s a bird. it’s a plane. It’s ... a waterfowl biologist?

My Outdoor Adventure

“This place needs help,” Triston said on the first visit to his family’s new farm.

Migration Sensation

Imagine traveling to a place you’ve never been. You have neither a suitcase nor a map. To get there, you’ll have to fly hundreds of miles and pit your wits against predators and storms. Sound scary? Migrating animals do it all the time.

Diary of a Black Bear

Hi! I’m a 3-year-old black bear. I live deep in the Ozarks along the banks of the Current River.

Whose Scat is That?

Animals leave clues to let us know where they’ve been. Search the woods carefully and you might find footprints in the dirt, chew marks on a nut, fur snagged on a thorn, and other, well, stuff.

This Issue's Staff:

David Besenger
Bonnie Chasteen
Chris Cloyd
Peg Craft
Les Fortenberry
Chris Haefke
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Kevin Lanahan
Kevin Muenks
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Alicia Weaver
Cliff White
Kipp Woods

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Xplor: Aug/Sept 2010

Magazine Cover with Bear
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