Hundreds of monarch butterflies cluster in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park

In late October, Berkeleyside received a tip that thousands of tiny fish were jumping in the waters of Aquatic Park.
Less than three weeks later, we received another “scoop” about the park that throngs of monarch butterflies were clustering in the trees.

I’d seen groups of monarchs in well-known gathering places, called “roosts” or “bivouacs,” in Pacific Grove and Santa Cruz. But I’d never heard of such a spectacle in Berkeley.

So I rushed the next morning to Aquatic Park, to the trees just east of the 14th hole of the disc-golf course, the site where the butterflies had purportedly been spotted.

I arrived before 9 a.m., when the air remained cool and clear. And, as expected, the monarchs were hunkered down, huddled together, wings closed.

Elaine Miller Bond, Berkeleyside