This week I am in New Jersey for a few days, 500 miles away from the Red House. Here I've seen a Monarch butterfly in the garden, resting and nectaring on her way down to Mexico for the winter.
|Monarch butterfly on Coneflower|
Five days after spotting the Monarch I will be going back home, and I wonder, who will make it down to North Carolina first, me or the butterfly?
- Monarch butterflies usually travel between 50 to 100 miles per day. The average is about 80 miles (129 km) per day.
- The farthest a Monarch has traveled in one day on record is 265 miles (426 km).
|265 miles in one day?! This Monarch looks tired just thinking about flying that far!|
- Monarchs travel at around 12 mph (19kmh), but can fly at speeds up to 30mph (48kmh) or even much faster with a tail wind.
- Glider pilots have recorded these butterflies flying as high as 11,000 feet (3350m) up in the air.
- My airplane has a cruising speed at around 400mph (645kmh).
- The airplane has a maximum cruising altitude of 25,000ft (7,600m).
- Flight time to NC is under 2 hours.
|I wish I was going on this plane!|
picture source: Wikipedia
So with a 5 day head start, could the Monarch butterfly end up at the Red House Garden first?
Well, the butterfly would have to travel an average of 100 miles per day to get there before me, which is theoretically doable...
Ready..... Set..... Go!
See you at the Red House Garden?
Want to join in tracking the Monarch butterfly fall migration?
Report your sightings of Monarchs at the Monarch Butterfly Journey North website!