You can only experience this rare sound of butterflies flying together in certain areas of Mexico. But lucky for us, a bystander captured the experience and uploaded his video for all of us to see (and hear!).

By Jenny Krane
May 14, 2019

It's hard to imagine that monarch butterflies make a journey of hundreds of miles every year to migrate south for the winter. For protection and warmth, they congregate in the trees located in the mountains of southwestern Mexico. After surviving the winter, they take off to fly back to their breeding grounds in parts of the United States and Canada.

That's the moment when you can hear the rarest and most unexpected sound. Because of the huge population all taking off at once, the flapping of those millions of wings come together to create an audible sound. That's what YouTuber and Tropical Entomologist Phil Torres aimed to capture in Mexico's Sierra Chincua Reserve.

Phil Torres posts short documentary-style videos on his channel, The Jungle Diaries, where he shares amazing footage of the natural phenomena and creatures that he encounters during his time in tropical areas. His video documenting the sound of monarch butterflies was published on May 6. Viewers are comparing the sound to a waterfall or rushing river in the distance.

Also an active conservationist, Phil encourages his viewers to plant native milkweed and other native wildflowers to give the monarchs the food and habitat they need to thrive. In the past 20 years, the monarch population has been declining, and their risk of extinction continues to increase.

These beneficial pollinators need to be protected. And while their migration sites are important, their breeding sites are just as significant. You can help the monarch butterfly population by planting native milkweed, their host plant for laying eggs and food sources. Growing other native wildflowers like coneflowers, blazing stars, and black-eyed Susans are also beneficial—they are hardy and nectar-rich, giving the butterflies a stable food source.

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