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Capture Monarch Butterflies With Your Camera Before They Fly To Mexico!

Photograph Monarch Butterflies as they prepare for their long migration to Mexico

Quick Details


Washington Photo Safari is pleased to announce its first monarch butterfly photo safari. Thanks to one of our longtime clients who devotes a special section of his garden to attracting monarch butterflies, we have been invited to capture them in early October, just before they fly almost 3,000 miles to their winter home in northern Mexico.

The large and brilliantly-colored monarch butterfly is among the most easily recognizable of the butterfly species that call North America home. They have two sets of wings and a wingspan of three to four inches (7 to 10 centimeters). Their wings are a deep orange with black borders and veins, and white spots along the edges.

The annual migration of North America’s monarch butterfly is a unique and amazing phenomenon. The monarch is the only butterfly known to make a two-way migration as birds do. Unlike other butterflies that can overwinter as larvae, pupae, or even as adults in some species, monarchs cannot survive the cold winters of northern climates. Using environmental cues, the monarchs know when it is time to travel south for the winter, using a combination of air currents and thermals to travel long distances.

On this unique safari we will spend an hour in a butterfly garden using long lenses to keep our distance from the butterflies as they pump nectar into their wings for the long journey south, much like an aircraft pumping fuel into its wing storage tanks.

The safari is led by architectural photographer and Washington Photo Safari director E. David Luria, at a private home in Silver Spring, MD. The address will be sent upon registration. Suggested equipment includes DSLR/mirrorless cameras, long telephoto lenses, 200-400mm, no tripods.

Photo by Kevin Hanlon