As you’re reading this, countless beautiful, fluttering monarch butterflies are resting and relaxing at the shoreline of Canada’s Point Pelee National Park. Tens of thousands of black and orange butterflies are currently on their annual migration toward Mexico. These magical creatures are using Canada’s most southern point as a pit stop while they wait for just the right conditions to continue to the warmer climate.
Ever wonder what clusters of delicate monarchs look like? This is your chance to see them, up close and personal. But don’t wait too long, the monarchs in this part of Canada are only estimated to stick around through mid-Oct (though we’ve got some tips on where else you can see them below!).
According to Andrew Laforet, the interpretation coordinator for Point Pelee National Park, “Rather than crossing the lake, they’ll follow the land out as far as it will take them until they have no choice. They’re waiting for the right condition to cross.”
If you’re hoping to catch the migration, Laforet gave CBC News some tips on when to spot them. Though hot, sunny days may seem ideal for viewing, those are the days they are most likely to “brave the flight across the water,” Laforet says. He suggests checking for butterflies during the early mornings and sunsets, along with windier, rainier days which will “usually force the butterflies to hunker down, making it a perfect time to snap photos.”
People on social media can’t get enough of how unreal this natural phenomenon is to see first hand.
Video journalist Kyle Brittain, who works for The Weather Network, shared this cool video:
— Kyle Brittain (@KyleTWN) September 8, 2018
Photographer Paul Roedding shared this beautiful shot on Twitter:
Thousands of #Monarch Butterflies have gathered on the tip at @PointPeleeNP as #migration continues. For more images and videos please visit my latest blog post. https://t.co/g8oBvJDOnJ pic.twitter.com/0teMRcea5e
— Paul Roedding (@goodbirding) September 10, 2018
Where Else You Can See The Monarchs
Other great places to catch the great migration? The California coast, which will see a large influx of Monarchs now through February. One of the best viewing areas on the coast is the Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach, which saw counts last January of an estimated 20,000 butterflies. Santa Cruz and Pacific Grove are two other well-known areas to enjoy the butterfly show.
Of course, if you want to see the migration in all its fluttering glory, no place beats the Monarch Biosphere Reserve in Michoacan, Mexico. About 60 miles northwest of Mexico City is a 139,019-acre area that today is a Unesco World Heritage Site due to its important role in the migration of the Monarchs. According to the Smithsonian, the butterflies come to the area by not just the millions, but quite possibly billions.
Have you ever spotted the migration?