Hummingbird ‘Spy’ Drone Films Breathtaking Monarch Butterfly Swarm

Wildlife researchers are employing technology in increasingly innovative ways in order to study wildlife in their natural habitat. Spy cameras and drones provide a peek into a world that no human would normally see.

Take the following video, which goes right inside a monarch butterfly swarm with the help of a drone shaped like a hummingbird. This clip from BBC/PBS’s ‘Spy in the Wild’ series ventures into the mountains of Mexico.

It is where monarch butterflies migrate during colder temperatures; half a billion butterflies hibernate in the forested grove until warmer weather returns. The “hummingbird” is able to fly among them because it is not seen as a threat. So as the temperature warms, the drone is there to capture the moment the butterflies wake up.

The resulting footage is breathtaking! “[This is] a spectacle that has rarely been filmed,” says the narrator, “and our spy is harmlessly in the very heart of it.” Watch this incredible moment for yourself in the clip below.

Spy in the Wild, series 2 is airing on PBS’s Nature during the spring of 2020.

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