These are touchy times and even a simple radar blip can send the whole security apparatus into a tizzy. A mysterious butterfly-shaped cloud spotted over St. Louis last week. Investigation revealed that it was a giant swarm of migrating monarch butterflies.
The huge group of migrating Monarch butterflies which resembled a strange shape was flying in between 1,525 meters to 1,825 meters and was heading south to Mexico. The Monarch Butterflies wings are small but they are excellent radar target.
The National Weather Service or the NWS said on Facebook, “No one saw the butterflies, but the radar signals suggest the “targets” were flapping, flat and biological, similar to a monarch.”
This is also the time for the Hummingbirds to migrate. However the bird which has made into the record books as the tiniest birds of all times flies at tree top levels, and hence the blip on the radar was indeed the migrating Monarch butterflies.
The migration of insects has often mystified the scientists. There is no dearth of super insects with extraordinary capabilities, the Hawk Moths have sonar blocking genitals, and the bees are electrically charged!
Such incidents have not occurred for the first time. In 2011 a distressed group of blackbirds in Beebe, Arkansas, looked like a bird’s head and beak. Another strange radar image had puzzled forecasters in Huntsville, Alabama. However later investigations revealed that the radar images were actually reflective particles used to test military radar.
The nonprofit Monarch Watch has reported that the butterfly-blob’s timing matches with the Monarch Butterfly from the Great Lakes. Monarch Butterflies use the magnetic field to navigate. They also have taken advantage of air currents to soar like birds, conserving energy for their two-month trip to Mexico. The Monarch Butterfly fly in ones or twos but swarms of the insect numbering millions perhaps billions have been sighted by people who are tracking their migration.