Occasionally, as I'm walking around Sabino Canyon I'll hear people talking about the "Monarch Butterflies" that they see there. Most of the "Monarchs" are Queen Butterflies, a related species. Queens superficially resemble Monarchs but the differences are readily apparent when the two species are seen side by side. Monarchs are a common butterfly in the eastern U.S., but are relatively rare in these parts. They do show up occasionally in Sabino Canyon and tend to hang out around the Buttonbushes near the bridges that lie southwest of Sabino Dam. I've seen Queens at these sites far more often than I've seen Monarchs.
Comparison photos from Steven Kessel:
|Monarch from the side|
|Queen from the side|
They both like the Button Bush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)!