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The Migration of the Monarch Butterflies

The Monarch butterfly is perhaps the best known of all North American butterflies. It is easily recognizable by its bright orange-red wings, with black veins and white spots along the edges. The Monarch butterfly is famous for its southward migration from Canada to Mexico and the northward return back to Canada in summer. Every fall, millions of these butterflies fly west to their wintering grounds in California and Mexico, covering the trees there with their bright shimmering wings. 

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These butterflies congregate into colonies and become almost a canopy around trees. In many cases, they are so thick that the trees turn orange in color and branches sag from the weight. It’s a remarkable sight that attracts scores of tourists each year.  

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The Monarch butterfly is the only butterflies that migrates like birds do - going both north and south. However, no single butterfly lives to see the whole journey as migrations usually span 3-4 generations of the short-lived insect. It is also one of the only insects to cross the Atlantic.
 
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The Monarch Butterflies travel between 1,200-2,800 miles, from Canada to the central Mexican forests, where the climate is warmer.

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Submitted by user: Nora L.

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