Swarms of Painted Ladies

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On my 5.5 mile walk this morning, I spotted a summer tanager, a yellow-rumped warbler, and about 2,000 painted lady butterflies. They are hatching all over the west and southwest and their numbers here have been growing daily. There are even more of them in southern California. To quote the L.A. Taco: “A massive swarm of at least 1 billion butterflies is traveling across Los Angeles and neighboring counties at a breathtaking speed of almost 20 miles an hour, reports said. The butterfly species Painted Ladies, cousins to the Monarch butterfly, are in a rush to reach breeding areas in Oregon after spending winter in the deserts of northern Mexico, according to Tom Merriman, a director of a butterfly non-profit group in Encinitas, in an interview with the Pasadena Star News. “They’ve laid tons of eggs in the desert, and so there may be over a billion butterflies,” Merriman told the paper.