Birding Center celebrates Monarch migration with Sixth Annual Hallo-Wings – Port Isabel-South Padre Press

Leaving their northeastern breeding grounds in the U.S. and Canada, Monarch Butterflies migrate upwards of 3,000 miles each fall to spend the cold season in southwestern Mexico. Each year the South Padre Island Birding, Nature Center & Alligator Sanctuary celebrates the Monarch’s instinctual trek in October with its annual Hallo-Wings festival. (Staff photo by Alexandrea Bailey)


The fall season is a gorgeous time of year on South Padre Island. The weather is sweet, the light is soft and fall flowering nectar plants all over the Island burst into bloom, perfectly synched with the passing kaleidoscope of migrating Monarch butterflies. These butterflies head up to wintering sites in central Mexico via the coastal flyway in autumn, creating an impressive natural sight to behold. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature [IUCN], habitat loss, overuse of pesticides and herbicides and climate change threaten the journey of these beautiful creatures.

The IUCN entered the migratory Monarch into its Red List of Threatened Species as endangered in 2022. The South Padre Island Birding & Alligator Sanctuary [SPIBNC&AS] and community volunteers have planted Monarch Waystation gardens on SPIBNC&AS property over the last few years to provide additional habitat to help migratory Monarchs.

Monarch butterflies migrate through South Padre Island from mid-October to mid-November. Hundreds will visit the Monarch Waystations at the SPIBNCAS as they pass through. All of their favorite nectar plants are beginning to bloom after recent rains, bringing the gardens to their most striking season of the year.

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