How High Do Monarchs Fly?
Let's Compare!

Do monarchs fly higher than tall trees, skyscrapers, mountain peaks, jet airplanes, and hot air balloons? Use these measurements to make a wall mural — to scale — to show how high monarchs can fly. Include metric units on your mural.

English Units


Altitudes of Some Familiar Things
36,000 ft   Passenger jet
Cruising altitude (Can you see the jet?)
29,028 ft   Highest mountain in the world
Mt. Everest
11,000 ft   Highest monarch butterfly ever seen
Seen during fall migration by glider pilot (may fly higher)
10,560 ft   Two miles
5,280 ft   One mile
2-4,000 ft   Songbird migration
Most occurs at these altitudes.
2,000 ft  

Highest hot air balloon
Average maximum altitude of hot air balloon flight.

1,483 ft   World's tallest building
Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
5-600 ft   Monarchs disappear (viewing with binoculars)
This is an estimate; depends on binocular magnification, conditions.
500 ft   Most birds fly below this level
except during migration
378.1 ft   Tallest living tree
2-300 ft   Monarchs disappear (viewing with naked eye)
(This is an estimate; it depends on conditions, numbers of monarchs, and the viewers)
151 ft   Height of the Statue of Liberty