The ancients called Monarch butterflies “Daughters of the Sun.”
- You set me free.
- You give me wings.
- Wishing you peace.
- You give me butterflies!
- You make my heart flutter!
- Spread your wings and fly!
- Find your bliss!
- A kaleidoscope of bliss.
- Let it go …
- Let yourself soar.
- Break free!
Monarch Butterflies migration facts:
Year after year, following a primeval call that still remains a mystery to science, the North American Monarch Butterfly undertakes the longest known voyage in the insect world.
These long distance travelers are Nature’s most delicate and beautiful symbol of transformation and renewal. They are a prime example of a species’ instinct to survive.
A group of butterflies is officially called a kaleidoscope. Isn’t that fun?!
Pre-Hispanic inhabitants associated the Monarchs with fire and the Sun’s movement in the sky. They believed butterflies were the souls of warriors that had died in battle, and that the souls would return to earth as butterflies, to feed on the sweet nectar of flowers.
Give Monarch Butterflies card to a mother, a daughter, a traveler, a survivor, for a lover of beauty and nature, for a new birth, a rebirth, Graduation, for a gardener, a Christening, for Transformation, for a Birthday, for Coronavirus, for Love.
After spending the summer in the backyards, fields and forests of United States and Canada, millions of these fragile insects start a 3000 mile journey south. They spend the winter hibernating in pine trees in the warmer central Mexico’s majestic Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains.
See also Monarch on Milkweed popup card.
The beautiful monarch butterflies travel every year to Michoacán Mexico because they are unable to survive the North American cold winters. The butterflies always hibernate and breed in the same trees every year! This is a mystery since they are the fourth generation of those from the previous season. The monarch butterfly is the only insect that migrates every year to a distance of over 3000 miles.
How do they instinctively know which trees are their destinations?
“The air resembled a monarch airport, with monarchs coming in from every direction, floating through the air, checking out various trees, landing, then taking off again. When each butterfly approached a cluster, the roosting butterflies flashed their wings.”
In 1975 Dr. Fred Urquhart discovered the wintering Monarchs: “I gazed in amazement at the sight. Butterflies, millions upon millions of Monarch butterflies! They clung in tightly packed masses to every branch and trunk of the tall, gray-green oyamel trees. They swirled through the air like autumn leaves and carpeted the ground in their flaming myriads on this Mexican mountainside.”
Much of what is known about monarch roosts is based on observations contributed by citizen scientists. The roost map shows where there are large concentrations of monarchs. Week by week, it reveals the fall migration pathways to Mexico, and the pace of the migration.
Find out how to report sightings of Monarch Butterflies at Journey North.