After seeing thousands of painted lady butterflies a couple of weeks ago, I thought they were done for the season.Painted Ladies migrate across North America!
Wrong! There are still so many migrating through the Denver area, that, when they fly a bit higher, they are visible on radar!
NWS BoulderVerified account @NWSBoulder Oct 4 4/4: Migrating butterflies in high quantities explains it. Today, the butterflies are staying close to the ground. #cowx #Science
How cool is that?
This morning, my husband and I stepped out of our house to walk our dogs, and were mobbed by Painted Lady butterflies!
There were dozens in our yard, sipping nectar from sunflowers and oregano.
As we walked through the neighborhood, the numbers increased. They were everywhere. Delightful!
Painted ladies are on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. (Painted Lady Vanessa cardui) Like the much more famous Monarch butterflies, Painted Ladies use multi-generational migrations. They start in Mexico, and take several generations to move into Canada, then turn around and take several generations to get back to Mexico (at least I think that’s how it works…) They do the same thing in Europe, migrating to tropical Africa. Nature Nut: Have you seen the painted ladies ‘invasion’? Nobody knows how they know where to go.
They do this every year. Some years, the migration is bigger. And some years, like this year, the migration is enormous.
Happy to have seen it.