Lead: Monarch butterflies are strikingly beautiful, with brilliant orange and black wings, but it is their migration habits over thousands of miles that distinguish this remarkable species.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: Each winter, the Oyamel tree forest in central Mexico becomes home to millions of hibernating monarch butterflies. The trees there are large, coniferous and grow at a high altitude. In February/March the hibernating Monarchs come down from the mountains and begin their flight north. In fields and meadows along the way, they lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves of milkweed plants. It takes about a month for an egg to complete four stages of development and become a mature adult. During the caterpillar stage, the Monarch feeds on the milkweed, absorbs certain toxins and this makes them poisonous to predators. This first generation of Monarch butterflies will live for about three to six weeks and continue the northern migration.