Huge West Coast Painted Lady Migration Coming?

February 17, 2016

The strong El Niño event in the Pacific Ocean this winter has given rise to increased rainfall in southern California during the past 30-60 days.  Rainfall has also been very heavy this winter farther up the Pacific Coast from central California to northernmost Washington State and perhaps further northward.  These conditions are very favorable to give rise to a potentially enormous spring migration of Painted Ladies.  Among this massive stream of butterflies may also be West Coast Ladies, Red Admirals, and perhaps even some American Ladies.  So please watch for them, share your sightings, and especially note flight directions and estimate numbers of butterflies you see.  With the several hundred (or more!) observations we anticipate receiving this spring, we'll have a good opportunity to trace some detailed patterns of butterfly movement as this migration unfolds.

--Royce Bitzer, February 17, 2016