Tens of millions of overwintering monarch butterflies can be found covering the tall pine and oyamel trees at the Reserva de la Biósfera Santuario Mariposa Monarca, the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Michoacán, Mexico. Conservation educator and naturalist Phil Torres visited this magical forest where monarchs gather in spectacular colonies from late October through February after migrating from the United States and southern Canada.

Some migrating monarch butterflies travel 3,000 miles, and up to 250 miles per day if the winds are right, to end up right here on my face. It is incredible to think that each of the millions of butterflies I saw in this forest has its own story to tell and came from some far off milkweed plant in a field somewhere or even someone’s back yard. Want to help this struggling population out? Plant NATIVE pollinator-friendly flowers and your native milkweed.

Related watching: How to Create Your Own Monarch Butterfly Rest Stop.

We also recommend Flight of the Butterflies on Amazon, on Netflix, or at your local science museum, and the book How to Raise Monarch Butterflies: A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids.

Plus: Catching butterflies with the longest butterfly net in the world and Monarch Butterflies Get Tiny Radio Trackers.

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