Fascinating Facts About Monarch Butterflies

The monarch butterflies are back this year and are adorning the Ellwood Main with their colorful bodies and graceful movements. Since 2007, the City of Goleta has trained docents to enhance the visitor experience at Ellwood Main and lead field trips for school and community groups.

You can find docents at the Ellwood Main viewing platform on weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., November through February.

Did you know?
• Monarch butterflies that migrate to Goleta come from the
western Rocky Mountains.
• The monarchs that spend their winter at Ellwood have never
been to Goleta. They are five generations removed from last
year’s visitors.
• Migrating monarchs can fly at speeds up to 50km/hr.
• Migrating monarchs live up to nine months. Monarchs that
don’t migrate live two to five weeks.
• Monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed. Eating milkweed
makes monarch caterpillars and butterflies poisonous.
• Wild monarchs lay 300-400 eggs in their lifetime.
• Male monarchs have a dot on each of their hind wings.
This is a special sac that helps them attract a mate.
• Ellwood Main Monarch Aggregation Site is one of the largest
overwintering sites in California.