I’ve mentioned this before, but, yesterday, I watched a Monarch male flying territorial sweep patterns over my garden again.
They are strong flyers, so unlike the cabbage whites that flutter and flit, Monarch soars and glides. Usually there is a definite flight pattern and I imagine if I could take a time lapse from directly overhead, the I could obtain an Orange/Black tracing of same route with minor variations. It’s hard to watch continuously since the “territory” he is tracing covers both my side yard/NE garden, back yard/S garden, and SW garden — all three sides of the house — and I have to go from window to window to see.
Sometimes, they also fly across the front of the house and are essentially maintaining territory over my enter garden which delights me since I have my garden registered as a Monarch Butterfly Waystation as well as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat, and try to plant the entire space as a butterfly garden every year.
Yesterday, this one was flying over the fence to my neighbor’s side yard or over the fence to the front yard, and then come back... and I realized he was claiming the entire front and back of our Rose of Sharon privacy hedge and also the stand of Blue Mistflower that have taken over the Front Yard Fencerow bed.
While flying the pattern, he would veer off and (try to) chase away other flyers — other Monarch males, Tiger Swallowtails which are bigger than Monarchs, carpenter bees, even hummingbirds!
Most of these attempts are only temporarily effective, if at all.