WILMINGTON -- Thousands of yellow butterflies are fluttering along the North Carolina coast. Cloudless Sulphur Butterflies are no strangers along the coastal plain. This time of year they can be seen everywhere.
“They just basically run the coastal plain, I think they have kind of died back in the Piedmont and mostly they like to be a I guess closer to the ocean,” said Sherry Tregembo owner of Tregembo Animal Park. “If you go down to the water, they are everywhere fluttering around on the water.”
Tregembo said these butterflies don't permanently live in North Carolina. They typically head north until it gets cold and then flutter back down south, some staying in the Carolinas to hibernate.
“When the weather starts getting cold to them, they backtrack and some do stay here during the winter. If it's a mild winter, you will find a few," said Tregembo.
Experts, like Tregembo, said there is an abundance of Cloudless Sulphurs this year because they are ahead of their breeding schedule by about two to five weeks. However, the majority of them won't be here much longer.
"A lot of butterflies are very migratory. Think of the monarchs. They go from the U.S. to Mexico every year," said Tregembo.
Cloudless Sulphur Butterflies are most common along the Coastal Plain from Florida all the way to Canada.
Experts said they expect most of the butterflies to migrate out of the area by October.