Flight of the Monarch

Releasing a Monarch Butterfly

A journey of 3,000 miles begins with one flap of the wing…

Monarch butterfly on Echinacea

“In all the world, no butterflies migrate like the Monarchs of North America. They travel much farther than all other tropical butterflies, up to three thousand miles. They are the only butterflies to make such a long, two way migration every year. Amazingly, they fly in masses to the same winter roosts, often to the exact same trees. Their migration is more the type we expect from birds or whales. However, unlike birds and whales, individuals only make the round-trip once. It is their children’s grandchildren that return south the following fall.” (Quote from http://monarchwatch.org)

On Saturday, I attended a demonstration of Monarch tagging at Dorothy’s House Museum in Garden Hill. It was fascinating! I had no idea that butterflies were so hardy!

Monarch with tag

The fellow demonstrating had caught 300 butterflies during the previous couple of days. He put each one in a small, brown envelope where it was apparently quite happy. The demonstration involved removing each one, attaching a tiny tag on a certain area of its wing and letting it go! We watched many beautiful Monarchs flying off from the hands of interested spectators, children and adults both.

Releasing tagged butterfly
Away you go!

Butterfly food and habitat are quickly disappearing. We can each help by simply planting milkweeds and not using pesticides or herbicides. On Monarch Watch you can apply for Monarch Waystation certification. I just did! There’s also lots of information on the site.


One Reply to “Flight of the Monarch”

  1. What an amazing post! Loved the pics!

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