Sep 25 2010

Flying to Mexico

Published by at 7:37 am under Insects, Fish, Frogs,Migration

Today will be much cooler here in Pittsburgh, but on Thursday it was over 85 degrees and the wind gusted to 17 miles per hour from the west.  That afternoon, to my surprise, I saw two monarch butterflies migrating southwest over Carnegie Mellon's campus. 

I'm sure the heat helped them.  Maybe the wind helped too. 

The monarchs made amazing progress, flying low below the treetops and aiming almost perpendicular to the wind.  Both of them flew faster than I could walk.

Monarch butterflies migrate south about 50 miles per day, so with the help of this past week's weather those two butterflies are well on their way to Mexico.

Click here to read about monarchs and the latest news of their fall migration on the Journey North website.

(photo by Marcy Cunkelman)

p.s. On September 18 there was an amazing flight of monarch butterflies along the East Coast.  At Cape May they counted 1,592 in one hour.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Flying to Mexico”

  1. Bird Feederson 25 Sep 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Thanks for the great story! I’m equally impressed with monarchs; as a little kid I remember chasing after them in my backyard, net in hand, and never had much luck catching up to them. They fly so gracefully! I never knew that they travel 50 miles per day, wow! Great photograph too!

  2. Kathy Mon 29 Sep 2010 at 10:01 pm

    I noticed a bunch on that same day, as we were hiking around Lake Ontario. there were so many I began counting them, but only got to 30. Seemed like a lot but can’t compare to Cape May.

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