How to fix a broken butterfly wing

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You may be able to help the insect, but if you are going to attempt a repair, have your supplies lined up, including steady hands and a donor wing.

This was my problem earlier this week. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I spent several hours trying to rescue a damaged monarch butterfly. Over two days, she kept ending up in my path, and I repeatedly picked her up and put her in the nearby bushes, hoping to keep her from becoming bird food on top of being unable to fly.

By the third sighting, I determined that I was obligated to try to help her get to Mexico.

No, I did not drive a butterfly to Mexico. Yet.

I kept thinking of it as her “driver’s side” wing, which is not at all correct.

I did drive her to the nearby university extension facility where they have been releasing monarchs for the past month. The office staff was not only completely unfazed by my request for a butterfly repair person, they were completely unhelpful. There was no one there at the time who had any interest in bugs of any sort.

I just wanted a donor wing, but sadly, there were none.

Watch a butterfly repair.

When I walked the dog, we paid special attention to the monarchs we saw and scouted for any fallen friends. Nope. Not a one. It was good news for them but bad news for my patient.

There was news of a massive monarch die off on the other side of the Chesapeake Bay. I briefly entertained the idea of trying to contact someone with all those wings. The wings would be possibly poisoned, so not a great option.

Finally, we left our little lady in the butterfly bushes with all her pals. She could at least be comfortable for the rest of the migration she will miss.

It’s a bummer!! Nature does nature things and all that, but sometimes it feels like boosting a little creature’s life is worth all the whiles.

Update: the following day I found three wings, but could not locate my busted butterfly.

Oh well.

Now, I’m ready for another one, driver’s side and passenger’s side.


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