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This painted lady butterfly is drinking nectar from a flower. Many painted ladies begin their lives in Mexico. They migrate hundreds of miles north to northwestern parts of the United States. The butterflies often stop at flowers in California. The flowers’ nectar gives the butterflies enough energy to finish the trip. New butterflies are born in the Pacific Northwest. They fly to Mexico for the winter.

Thousands of monarch butterflies migrate south to Mexico every winter. The journey takes them up to two months. However, climate change has caused temperatures to rise around the world. Monarchs are having to travel farther to reach places with the right temperature. Fewer butterflies are surviving the trip. In 2018, approximately 20,000 monarchs migrated south. That is 86 percent fewer monarchs than in 2017.

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Making Connections


Have you seen butterflies before? If so, what kinds? If not, where might you find them?


Have you read books about other insects? What do they have in common with butterflies? How are they different?


Why might planting flower gardens help butterflies survive?

Teacher Resources

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