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Don’t Miss the Migration of the Monarch Butterfly This Spring

English: Update of previous image

Texas Hill Countrye (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Butterfly fans, get ready!  The central Texas Hill Country is a great place to view the Monarch Butterfly each spring.  The migration route of the Monarch goes right through the Texas Hill Country.  Areas along the Frio, Llano and Sabinal rivers are included in the 300 mile wide swath of Monarch migration from central Mexico to the northern United States and southern Canada.

Usually in late October and early November the Monarchs fly south to warmer climates in Mexico over the winter.  When temperatures begin to warm in the early spring, the butterflies trek back northward through the Texas Hill Country, where they mate and then lay eggs on milkweed sprouts, avoiding predatory birds that find feed upon them.  Although poisonous to birds, they are still susceptible to being killed as the bird first tries it, then spits it out when it tastes the poison.

The first caterpillars emerge shortly after the laying of the eggs, and then metamorphose into the familiar and beautiful orange and black winged adults.  The Monarch is the only butterfly to migrate both North and South as do migratory birds, although no individual butterfly makes the entire journey.  The females make only a portion of the trip, lay their eggs, and then die off.  The rest of the journey is left to the offspring, as in a baton relay.

You can encourage Monarchs onto your Hill Country property by planting milkweed in your garden.  The butterflies are very particular about where they lay their eggs, and milkweed is the nursery of choice.

The courtship of the Monarch is especially fun to witness, as the males pursue the females during the aerial phase, nudging them and frolicking about, before mating occurs during the ground phase, in which the couple are attached for up to an hour at a time.

Numerous Texas state parks in the Texas Hill Country are home to the spring breeding grounds of the Monarch.  The flyway from central Mexico to Texas and on to Canada sweeps from San Angelo to Eagle Pass.  Wimberley is an especially great place to view Monarchs in the spring.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department provides information regarding the arrival of Monarchs in state parks each spring, so be sure to call the park you wish to visit for estimated arrival and mating dates, which usually occur during March and April in central Texas.

Original Author: Carolyn Boden Full Bio

Carolyn Boden is a marketing consultant at Belvedere, Texas hill country land for sale real estate community. They sell beautiful hill country acreage located west of Austin near Hamilton Pool. For more information please visit http://www.belvedereaustin.com
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Tags: hill country areas, Texas Hill Country, Monarch migration, Monarch butterflies

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