Millions of Monarch Butterflies Filmed by a Drone Disguised as a Hummingbird!


Spy in the Wild

A spy. A drone. A hummingbird.  In other words - a drone, "disguised" like a hummingbird, was used as a spy to watch and film half a billion monarch butterflies. The footage, directed by John Downer, has been released on PBS TV and BCC 1 and has reached almost 3 mln views on YouTube just in a few months.

The Butterfly Forest

Millions of monarch bufferflies migrate every year to a forest in Michoacan, Mexico. "Up to half a billion monarch butterflies lie sleeping having overwintered in Mexico. As winter ends and spring arrives, the sun warms their wings and the forest comes to life as a cascade of butterflies take flight! Robot Spy Hummingbird is right there in the heart of the spectacle." This is how the producer, John Downer, describes the new film production. It is part of the PBS show "Nature" and its series "Spy in the Wild". 

All of the series have been filmed with the help of over 50 unbelievably realistic animatronics "spy" creatures, designed by John Nolan Studiothat have been sent all across the world. "…The viewer is plunged into the very heart of the extraordinary lives of over 40 remarkable animals, - Downer explains. - …This team of hyper-real Spy Creatures not only look like the animals they film, they behave like them too. Accepted by the families, these robotic look-alikes can not only film from an intimate perspective, they also interact with the animals and so gain revelatory insights into their worlds…"

And here is the video about the creation of these amazing animatronics...

You will find more information about this astonishing project here: and  here:

Sources: John Downer Production on YouTube  and


If nature is your passion, your mission and your ambition, we invite you to take part in the one of a kind international conference on social sciences "When Science Meets Art" in Vienna, Austria, from 9th to 12th of December 2020. During the event, special attention will be paid to the topic "The Beauty Behind Natural Scenes". For more information:

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