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Monarch
Danaus plexippus
The Monarch (Danaus plexippus) ranges from South America northward to Canada. It may be the best known butterfly in the United States because it is often quite common and its migration may be seen each fall in many areas. A substantial portion of the North American population overwinters in a small area in the mountains of northern Mexico. The first 2 shots shown here were taken at Austin, Travis Co., Texas, in November, 2007, and were shot with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III and EF 300mm F/4 L IS lens and 2X extender.
The Monarch shown here was in Austin, Travis Co., Texas, in May, 2008. This shot was taken with the same gear described above.
The migration of Monarchs is one of the most interesting and spectacular sights of nature. Occasionally bad weather may put down thousands of migrants at one location, allowing an observer to observe this miracle of life. Such was the case in late September, 2009, when Martin Reid and I were at Balmorhea Lake in Reeves Co., Texas. A cold front had pushed through the day before dropping temperatures into the high 40s and low 50s for a day. We stumbled across an estimated 30,000+ Monarchs hanging up in clusters in a number of salt cedar trees trying to stay out of the cold wind. Within an hour, the temperature warmed up substantially and many of the Monarchs took wing to continue their journey south. The next 15 shots show groups of migrant Monarchs on this occasion. These shots were taken with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III and an EF 300mm F/4 L IS lens and 580 flash.
The next 3 shots of Monarchs were taken in Austin, Travis Co., Texas, in October, 2009, with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III and an EF 300mm F/4 L IS lens and 2X extender and 580 flash. The shot shown here shows an individual visiting Cowpen Daisys while the next two images show a pair in copula.
Monarch
Danaus plexippus
Rearing Pond,
Vilas Co., Wisconsin
16 June 2014
45.9529
-89.5492
Monarch
Danaus plexippus
on Blue Mistflower
Pedernales Falls State Park,
Blanco Co., Texas
18 October 2014
Monarch
Danaus plexippus
Hornsby Bend,
Austin, Travis Co., Texas
6 October 2015
Monarch
Danaus plexippus
Hornsby Bend,
Austin, Travis Co., Texas
6 October 2015
Monarch
Danaus plexippus
Hornsby Bend,
Austin, Travis Co., Texas
14 October 2015
Monarch
Danaus plexippus
Pedernales Falls State Park,
Blanco Co., Texas
25 October 2016
Monarch
Danaus plexippus
Pedernales Falls State Park,
Blanco Co., Texas
25 October 2016
Monarch
Danaus plexippus
NABA Butterfly Park,
Mission,
Hidalgo Co., Texas
18 November 2016