Amazing Butterfly Migration From Canada To Mexico
How many of you know about this amazing butterfly adventure? I mean, us humans don’t half take it easy and complain probably most of the time when we actually have everything in our entire laps.
We say, be grateful your not a butterfly, or should we say Mariposa! The journey of a Monarch Butterfly is very important and special.
These magnificent and strong butterflies take on a real journey when they leave Canada when fall season hits. Millions of them leave their breeding grounds in the northeastern U.S and Canada and travel all the way upwards around 3000 miles to reach overwintering grounds in Mexico, how impressive is that for such a small insect.
Butterfly Invasion In The Canary Islands
We had not long been back from visiting family in the UK when we noticed hundreds of butterflies. We wondered if this was normal as we have only been living in the Canaries for seven months. It wasn’t until we did some research and found the true facts as to why they were here with us.
The weather and all its little delights brought in the wondrous butterflies accidentally of course to Mexico. The storm we had, blew them hundreds of miles out of range, which we thought was kinda sad. Although we can’t help mother nature, its still a complete disaster for all of those beautiful butterflies.
Why Do Butterflies Migrate Anyway?
So, most of us will wonder why they do this great journey each year. They simply do it because the days start to get shorter like in many other countries and the temperatures drop down considerably, this then leads to them abandoning their feeding and breeding territories in search of a safe place to stay for winter, clever we think.
The Monarchs know where to go straight away for the winter, they head high up in central Mexico, mountains known as the Sierra Madre. Once they arrive there, they all get up close and personal on the branches of the oyamel fir trees. The trees are known to create a micro climate that protects the insects.
The tree canopy acts as an ecosystem, it provides a blanket effect for the monarchs so that the temperatures don’t rise too high or too low, which really does make sense.
After winter is over the butterflies head back part way to the north to a much warmer climate like in Texas, where they will then mate and leave their eggs on milkweed plants. It then only takes a few days for them to hatch out into marvellous stripy gold, black and white caterpillars.
The Cycle Is Repeated
The Monarch larvae eat huge amounts of milkweed before forming a magical chrysalis and then transform into beautiful butterflies.
The cycle you may think is over and done with? but, at that point, the butterflies are again high in the skies ready to fly another few hundred miles north before finding many more patches of milkweed to repeat the whole process again.
It could take the butterflies up to as many as four or five generations to fully complete the exhausting journey, all the way back to Canada, it’s so truly amazing that these tiny insects can deal with so much, they use the air current year after year to wing there way all the way back.