SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The South Padre Island Birding Nature Center and Alligator Sanctuary are getting ready for the arrival of hundreds of migratory Monarch butterflies at the end of October.
The Monarchs are heading to wintering grounds in Mexico along the coastal flyway, but first, they are stopping at the center for the native plants.
“We plant plants that are native to South Padre Island and to the surrounding area,” said the center’s Naturalist Educator, Javier Gonzalez. “They are blooming into full bloom after the rains we’ve had recently and they bloom in sync with the arrival of the Monarchs.”
How long the butterflies will stay on the island though is unknown. The winds are what will carry the Monarchs. “They might just be here a couple days. If not, they’ll be here for maybe a week,” added Gonzalez.
Aside from the beauty of these creatures, Gonzalez said they help our ecosystem through pollination which in turn help plants produce fruit, feed other animals, and possibly people.
The center plants new gardens every spring and fall in an effort to attract as many Monarchs as they can.
A migration celebration ‘HalloWings’ event will take place at the center on Oct. 30. There will be gardening presentations, butterfly walks, live music, and children’s games. Butterfly-specific plants will also be sold for the public to take home and attract their own Monarchs.
The cost of admission will be $8 per adult, $7 for students and seniors, $5 for children between the ages of 4 and 12, and children under the age of 4 will be free.
For more information on the event, you can visit South Padre Island’s event page.