Flight of the Butterflies is actually two stories, intertwined. It’s about the astounding Monarch butterfly migration, the longest known insect migration on earth, and the determined scientist who spent 40 years trying to discover exactly where the butterflies mysteriously went when they flew south for winter.
Dr. Fred Urquhart is the man obsessed with Monarchs. The obsession started in his youth, when he began to wonder where the butterflies spent the winter months. His passion became his profession as he went on to become a zoologist/biologist, teacher and university professor. Along with his wife Norah, he founded the Insect Migration Association, enlisting thousands of volunteers across North America to tag hundreds of thousands of butterflies to track their migration route. This association ultimately helped Dr. Urquhart discover, in 1975, that millions of butterflies migrated to the remote Transvolcanic Belt of central Mexico.
Danaus plexippus or Dana for short, is the Monarch we follow on her perilous journey from Mexico to Canada, along with her daughter, granddaughter and great granddaughter. The outstanding fourth, or “Super Generation” of butterflies travels more than 2,000 km south, all the way from the northern United States and southern Canada to Mexico, overwinters and makes one final short trip to the southern United States to lay eggs. Then, the cycle begins again. It is one incredible trip you won’t want to miss.