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June Butterfly Migration

Posted By: elbert

June Butterfly Migration - 06/20/10 10:28 PM

[Linked Image]
Its not easy to photograph these guys. I'm still trying.
Its June and every June millions of these guys pass through Ambergris caye. It starts about half way through the month and goes on for weeks. Day and night they flow by.
Posted By: hazzyy

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 06/20/10 10:51 PM

Nice photo...I was wondering why there were so many of those yesterday while we were out fishing...there's more butterflies than birds...
Posted By: elbert

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 06/20/10 11:03 PM

all headed South.
I count about 10 every five min. by just standing in one spot. It goes on for weeks like this.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 06/20/10 11:26 PM

A couple of years ago there was a solid 2 days where thousands were going past every minute. It was amazing to watch.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 06/21/10 01:32 PM

I noticed them starting yesterday too. Absolutely magical.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 06/21/10 03:24 PM

A few years back I thought I was seeing things when it looked like it was snowing! LOL Amoung the thousands of yellow ones there would be a black one.
Where do they hatch (come from) and where are they going?
Posted By: shuffles

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 06/21/10 03:29 PM

I saw thousands of them coming back from Gallon Jug this weekend. They were swirling around in giant "swarms". I was told that they migrate to Costa Rica somewhere, make their babies, then die.
Posted By: elbert

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 06/21/10 06:11 PM

Genes are immortal. I understand what you mean by die' but if you look at it another way the butterflys immortal genes are exchanging an old bio-flying machine for a fresh one.
Posted By: shuffles

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 06/21/10 06:32 PM

Point well taken!
Posted By: Loansum-Al K

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 06/22/10 01:41 AM

We remember that Harriette......it went on for at least a week or more......wish we were there to see it again.
Posted By: belizegial

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 06/22/10 02:00 AM

After reading this post yesterday, today I was on the lookout for these butterflies and saw some. It was just so amazing to see them!!!!!!
Posted By: Seachange

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 06/22/10 08:33 PM

I have been sitting and watching them this afternoon. They do pass regularly. The sea is gorgeous, boats and parasails going by also. I believe this must be nirvana. Does anyone know the types of butterflies? Looks like Monarchs, plus some little yellow ones and little white ones.
S
Posted By: elbert

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 06/23/10 07:12 PM

They seemed to have picked up today. its groups of 5 to 10 every min. instead of onesies twosies.
The yellow ones are called Cloudless Sulfurs.
and the orange seem to be Monarch.
some black ones as well.
Posted By: denjy

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/05/11 11:38 PM

Is this the migration that is happening now? I wonder why so late this year. Noticed them earlier this week and still going on, continuous stream heading south.
Posted By: shuffles

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/06/11 12:06 AM

Yes, it is late. Generally see them in late June to early July. I was told that they fly to Costa Rica, lay their eggs and die. What a beautiful last flight they have if this is true!!!
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/06/11 12:42 AM

I saw those little yellow ones headed south when I was over 100 miles off the coast of Baja....strong little guys!
Posted By: elbert

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/06/11 03:27 AM

Its been great watching all week. seems like ten times as much as last year!
Posted By: Chica Blanca

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/06/11 03:01 PM

I have identified 6 species of butterfly during this migration. We are seeing dozens a minute right now. Not to mention the other species also hanging around the lantana. I am still wondering where the nectar bar is, I want to go to Happy Hour. No Monarchs in the bunch. They migrate here in the late fall. Yes this group is HARD to get a photo of, fast and in the tree line.
Cloudless Sulfur (Phoebis sennae)
Orange Banded Sulfur (Phoebis philea)
Ruddy Daggerwing (Phoebis philea) orange with tail
Great Southern White (Ascia monuste)
Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)
Giant Swallowtail ( Heraclides cresphontes)

Now off to finish my latte on the veranda and watch the show. smile
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/06/11 03:36 PM

They are AMAZING - clusters and clouds of them - mostly the yellow ones with a few monarchs mixed in.
I think this may be the second best migration in 20 years.
Am told that they feed on the creosote bushes in Yucatan and that if there is a drought up there, we get more flying past here.
At any rate - it's magic.
Posted By: Bear

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/06/11 07:56 PM

I got curious so I thought I'd share



Butterfly Database



[Linked Image]
Orange banded or barred

[Linked Image]

Cabbage white


[Linked Image]

Giant Swallowtail


[Linked Image]

Ruddy Daggerwing



[Linked Image]

Great Southern White


[Linked Image]

Cloudless Sulpher

Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/07/11 12:12 AM

Oh my - thanks for those photos.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/07/11 05:13 AM

What great shots. Were they all taken here and when?
I have been trying to post four images under the photo section and keep being told my images are too big - even though they are not. I have them at 4 x 6" at 72 resolution.

Although there were still what normally would be called a lot, today the migration seems to be over. Boo hoo. I waited too long to take the pictures of the clouds on these in my firecracker plants. Yesterday the taxis were stopping her to let the passengers take pictures.
Posted By: Bear

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/07/11 12:48 PM

I wish I could take photographs that well Harriette. No, I was just curious about what the species that Chica had keyed in her post then shared some images I had G'gled. Looking at these I was tryin gto figure out which one was in Mr. elberts photograph.
Posted By: Chica Blanca

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/07/11 05:40 PM

I believe Elbert's is a Orange Banded Sulfur. Here a link to some of the species I have had the pleasure of seeing in my neighborhood. Thanks to Bear, I have been able to figure out how to paste in a photo. Enjoy.

Butterfly and Moth photo album

[Linked Image]
Ruddy Daggerwing (Marpesia petreus)

[Linked Image]
Hawk's Moth for Hariette.


Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/07/11 07:45 PM

That's my guy - Hummingbird Hawk Moth. Now if only I could post my butterfly pictures (even though they don't compare to these!)
Posted By: denjy

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/07/11 11:47 PM

Does the Humminbird Hawk Moth mimic the flight of a hummingbird when feeding? Reminds me of a Sphinx moth in Michigan. Always had to do a double take to make sure what you were looking at.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/08/11 03:38 AM

Yes, they do. That's why the guys were so sure it was a hummingbird. He would hover right in front of my face then veer off to my left.
Posted By: Bear

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/08/11 04:25 AM

Go Chica! yeah!
Posted By: elbert

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/08/11 02:05 PM

Looks like a Duck ,Quacks like a duck but is not a Duck is convergent evolution.
The Hawk Moth and the hummingbird are frequently used examples.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/08/11 02:53 PM

Recently we have been having an on-going discussion about the Hawks moth and hummingbird because we have been spotting both by the house. We managed to catch a photo of the moth but I have stood right next to the hummingbirds and stared into their eyes so I know I have seen the bird too.

Isn't nature grand!
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/08/11 02:57 PM

Hmmm, is there a hummingbird that looks like the hawks moth?
Posted By: elbert

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/08/11 03:12 PM

Its not looks its how they fly.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vS7yti70RE
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/08/11 05:12 PM

Thanks Elbert.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/08/11 05:17 PM

Wow, I think I have to eat my hat! I am going to have to really study the flying visitors to confirm. But I have a feeling we are looking at moths not birds at our house.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/08/11 07:29 PM

The only way I was sure it was not a hummingbird was because I sitting by the pond and looking up at it working a bush and could see that it had insect type legs, not bird legs.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/08/11 08:34 PM

Good point Harriete - I will look at the legs instead of being mesmerized by the flapping wings and cool head.
Posted By: Chica Blanca

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/08/11 09:02 PM

Yes a quick check of how many legs will tell. Insects have six legs, birds two. One of the qualitative differences in the animal kingdom is number of appendages 4 vs. 6. But these guys are so fast, and they don't like to give up their secrets.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/08/11 09:06 PM

Thanks Coleen. But you did mean to say two didn't you?

By the way, I love the pix you have been posting here and FB.
Posted By: Chica Blanca

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/08/11 09:16 PM

Yes 2 legs for birds. I forget the wings aren't considered legs.
Posted By: Loansum-Al K

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/08/11 09:56 PM

Originally Posted by Chica Blanca
Yes a quick check of how many legs will tell. Insects have six legs, birds two. One of the qualitative differences in the animal kingdom is number of appendages 4 vs. 6. But these guys are so fast, and they don't like to give up their secrets.

Here's a tough one Colleen......how may legs does a Centipede have!
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/08/11 11:03 PM

more or less than a millipede?
Posted By: Loansum-Al K

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/08/11 11:27 PM

Their names are deceiving....both can have between 20 & 400.
Posted By: filmmaker ben

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/09/11 03:23 PM

Back to the butterflies for a moment -- here's a quick video I shot a couple days ago of the butterfly migration moving through Tres Cocos (a mile north of the cut). For the photography buffs in the room, this was shot with a 50mm lens, so in order to get some of these closeups I had to place the camera inches from the butterfly (which shows you how little they minded). Enjoy!

http://vimeo.com/islandfilms/butterflies
Posted By: elbert

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/09/11 03:34 PM

Very nice Ben and it shows exactly what everyone is talking about.
Posted By: Bear

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/09/11 04:48 PM

Nice! (although I was expecting Cream's version of "I'm So Glad", Oh well shows my generational origins)

Is that Hummingbird bush theyre feeding from? (Grevilla sp)
Posted By: filmmaker ben

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/10/11 03:34 PM

I'm not sure. I've heard them called Firecracker Bushes.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/10/11 09:23 PM

That looks like my yard and they are called Firecracker Plants.
I'm having a hard time getting the video to download. AH Belize!
Posted By: BeBelize

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/11/11 03:49 AM

Such a gorgeous video! We did see a few butterflies the first two weeks in July when we were there, but nothing like this. Wish we hadn't missed it!
Posted By: Bear

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/11/11 01:58 PM

Originally Posted by ScubaLdy
That looks like my yard and they are called Firecracker Plants.
I'm having a hard time getting the video to download. AH Belize!


Yes I can see the difference now. Firecracker plant I like it! but then what pyrotechinician wouldnt? wink Were these already on your property Harriette or did you plant them? I woulnd't mind growing a few on our place. If you planted them did you uses cuttings or get them from a nursery somewhere?

We keep a small hedge of Grevillea (very similar looking) right in front of our picture windows back in Sonoma so we can watch hummers and butterflies feed during the bloom.

Very nice film, we enjoyed it (although I still think it should have had Cream's version of I'm So Glad smile )

Posted By: filmmaker ben

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/11/11 06:57 PM

They're actually not the plants in Harriette's yard -- they're further south on the road near Bamboo House. Those bushes are bigger and get more direct sunlight, so there seems to be more activity.
Posted By: Bear

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/11/11 07:54 PM

Thanks Ben would you tell the owners not to be overly concerned if late one niht they see a rather large hairy animal mucking about in their yard with pruning shears and a bucket of cuttings?

Thanks much appreciated! wink
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/12/11 01:41 AM


AHA - Ben - you were at the empty lot next to the McLean's (which they also own). Firecracker plants spread and I got all of my starts from this back by permission of Bob & Helene. You too can probably get some there or come to my place (Birdland) and I help you dig up some young ones.
Posted By: Loansum-Al K

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/12/11 05:24 PM

Harriette, I would like one.....would they work in the planters we have around our patio.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/12/11 05:37 PM

Al - Come on up - I'm sure you will be able to get one or more to grow.
Posted By: Katie Valk

Re: June Butterfly Migration - 08/12/11 07:52 PM

I was fortunate enough to have seen this last weekend while on the caye and again today, while driving the Western Hywy in Cayo and Belize districts.
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