In this astounding clip from the PBS Nature miniseries Spy in the Wild, a drone camera disguised as a hummingbird journeys into the center of a monarch butterfly swarm in Mexico’s Central Highlands—a spectacle very few filmmakers have been able to capture this closely. Hummingbirds feed on nectar just as butterflies do, so the monarchs don’t see this drone as a threat. The drone’s propellers are shielded so it won’t harm the butterflies—the monarchs can even safely land on the spy hummingbird’s wings!
Each year, monarchs pause in Mexico following a 3,000-mile migration across North America. Millions congregate in the cool mountains, where they roost in the fir trees, covering the branches in a quivering blanket. And when the sun warms their gossamer wings, they soar in an orange flurry that makes the forest hum, just like you see in this video.
You can be among the few to witness this breathtaking natural phenomenon on Nat Hab’s Monarch butterfly adventure. Enjoy three extended explorations into two different butterfly sanctuaries during our six-day journey through Mexico’s Central Highlands. And if you’re a nature photographer, our special photo departures put you in the heart of the butterflies’ realm with an accomplished guide who is both a naturalist and expert photography instructor.