Migration Facts

•Monarch butterflies are 3 cm long, weigh less than 1 gram, and fly on paper-thin wings up to 4600 km to Mexico.

•The furthest journey recorded of a tagged monarch butterfly was about 2750 miles from Grand Manan Island, Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada to Mexico.

•Monarch migrants move 10 to 15 miles per hour for 6 to 8 hours per day, depending on wind speed, average 44 miles per day but can move up to 200 miles per day.

•Glider pilots have seen monarchs as high as 11,000 feet above the ground.

•Radar has picked up monarchs flying as high as 5000 feet off the ground.

•Monarchs can’t fly below temperatures of 57°F (unless they bask in the sun or shiver to warm their flight muscles).

•It’s been estimated from tagging studies that 25-50% of monarchs survive the fall migration.

•Migrants from northern sections of N. A. take 8-10 weeks to reach Mexican overwintering sites – migrants arrive at the sites in November and continue to the end of December