Monarch Butterfly Tagging Programs

Tagged monarch butterfly by Ashley Megquire

SORRY, but the two adult programs (September 11 & 18)  are now full, but there are a few spaces left in the children’s program on September 12

Friends of Sears Island will host three free programs on monarch butterflies with Serena Cole in September. Two programs geared for adults will be held September 11th, from 3-5pm and September 18th, from 2-4pm. Another program for kids will be held after-school on September 12th, from 4:00-5:30pm for children ages 6-12 and an accompanying adult, as part of FOSI’s Science Squad program for youth.

Due to the popularity of these programs and the need to limit the amount of people walking in the milkweed field, advance registration is required. Because space is limited, please sign up for only one event. CLICK HERE to register.

During these programs, Cole will teach program attendees about monarch life cycles, habitat, migration patterns, and will lead a hike to the milkweed field on Sears Island, a certified Monarch Waystation. At the field, participants will have the opportunity to look for butterflies and carefully net and assist with tagging them as part of the Monarch Watch program, which tracks the annual butterfly migration. Please note that seeing and catching monarchs cannot be guaranteed. FOSI is also looking for a few volunteers to continue tagging monarchs on Sears Island for several weeks during peak monarch migration. Those who attend one of these programs will be considered trained and can request sticker tags and a data sheet. Please note, tag quantities are limited and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis to willing volunteers.

Serena Cole has been a biology and environmental educator for 30 years. She has led student science groups to Costa Rica and been involved with citizen science projects at Schoodic Point Educational Research Center. Sears Island is on Sears Island Road off Route 1 just east of Searsport. Participants should park along the causeway at the end of the road and meet at the island gate. Bring water, a snack, and insect repellent.

In the event of steady rain, the programs will be rescheduled, with a rain date of Sept. 13th from 1:30-3:30pm held for the Sept. 11th program, and Sept. 13th, 4:00-5:30pm for the Science Squad program scheduled for Sept. 12th, and Sept. 19th, 3:30-5:30pm for the Sept. 18th program.

Please no pets on guided walks.

To learn more about Monarch Watch, visit