Sunday, November 17, 2013


Did you know that Monarch butterflies Migrate for the Winter just like some birds do? Monarchs do not like the cold so the fly deep into Mexico where they will me close the equator. After the cold spell is over, Monarch butterflies make that long journey into North America and even some parts of Canada. As they begin their journey South, they will make many stops at their favorite places on they way down south. Many of these places are full of trees such as Pine Trees or Eucalyptus Trees. They travel in colonies and during the night or when it gets too cold for them, they clump up together to keep each other warm. As they clump up together they will often keep flapping their wings to help keep their temperature up. Butterflies actually shiver when they are cold, just like people do.
During the day the butterflies will fly around from tree to tree and sometimes land on the ground, or even on a person. It's important to remember how delicate a butterfly is. They have a very thin layer of dust on their wings that helps them remain healthy and safe. If a Monarch Butterfly lands on or around you it is important to remember this. Try not to touch the wings because this can remove that protective layer of dust. cup them from the bottom to keep them safe. If they are shivering, you can help keep them warm by cupping your other hand over them. Just try not to touch the wings while cupping them. If you're careful, you can also hold them from the body like in the image to the right.
As they make their way south they may also lay eggs in plants like Milkweed. As the babies mature, they turn into a caterpillar, a long, almost inch-worm looking creature. The caterpillar feeds on the Milkweed as it grows. At sometime in the development, the caterpillar goes into a protective shell called a cocoon. When the cocoon finally opens up, out will come a beautiful butterfly. This transformation from caterpillar to butterfly takes place inside the cocoon. Much like bees and other insects, butterflies serve a purpose for the ecosystem. They collect and transport pollen helping nature keep up it's garden. Plants and butterflies have a symbiotic relationship, which means they rely on each other to flourish.

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