Earth Navigators

NATURE follows the world’s most dauntless creatures in their epic migrations in Earth Navigators.

Springtime brings greenery and color to the English countryside, signaling whooper swans to undertake an extraordinary and dangerous journey — including a 400-mile flight over open ocean — to their traditional nesting places in Iceland.

Elsewhere around the world, seasonal changes impel a wide variety of other creatures to begin their own epic migrations to ancient feeding, mating, and breeding grounds, sometimes covering thousands of miles and employing ingenious methods to reach their destinations.

One of the most extraordinary voyages undertaken is that of the monarch butterfly, which, with the coming of spring, begins its northward migration from Mexico’s Sierra Nevada mountains. By June, the butterflies reach the meadows of Texas, whose milkweed plants are the only ones the monarch caterpillars will eat. After laying their eggs here, the exhausted butterflies die — yet this is not the end of the journey.

The caterpillars that emerge evolve into the next generation of butterfly, which continues the journey north. Along the route to Canada, the breeding process of the butterflies is repeated until the third-generation descendants of the original migrants are ready for the 2,000-mile return trip to Mexico, which they alone are uniquely equipped to complete.

To order a copy of Earth Navigators, please visit the NATURE Shop.

Online content for Earth Navigators was originally posted April 2000.

  • steve mueller

    i was trying to access a web site for Art Wolfe, the photographer, but could not. my search on the PBS site of “travels to the edge” was also fruitless. Art Wolfe is the fantastically talented photographer on the program “travels to the edge.” i only recently began watching this program(1st time in October of 2008). i believe Mr. Wolfe is an extremely talented photographic genius. i wanted to let him know. if you can pass this on somehow or provide a way to contact him, it would be appreciated. thank you. steve mueller

  • Barb

    I was also looking for a “Travels from the Edge” program I saw on Bolivia/Andes that was done by Art Wolfe and Art Davidson. It was spectacular photography of that area. I was hoping to purchase the DVD but cannot find it. Can you help? thanks!

  • Norma J. Gage

    I, also am looking for “Travels to the edge” Season 2, but cannot find the entry for that airing’s time, and date. Please inform me to when it will be showing. Norma

  • Angela Armke

    I, too am looking for Travels to the Edge season 2. Am really interested in the Baja, Mexico episode that I missed because cable was temporarily down. I have searched all over, if you can help … please redirect me. Thank You! and Happy Holiday’s to all.

  • Sid Georgiou

    To those who are interested in Art Wolfe’s “Travels to the Edge” – you have better luck checking schedules of the the individual PBS stations which have carried it (I use my cable remote for this) – particularly WNJN,WLIW and WNYE (the latter not listed at all in the PBS station guide!). You may also try the TV listings at where you can click on a scheduled program and find other listings.Disregard the lack of accurate information on – sometimes it’s there, sometimes not. Someone ought to tell them, and also advise them that Wolfe’s program belongs in a time slot with nature and wildlife programs; he is one of the best photographers in those fields today.

  • Marcia Ballard

    I, too, have found “Travels to the Edge” to be a fantastic experience or enjoyment in the photographic genius of Art Wolfe. He does have his own website but I also have had trouble finding the schedule of his programs can’t seem to find former episodes either. Where are they to be found? Are they on file in the PBS website somewhere?

  • Anthony

    I found a listing for “Art Wolfe’s Travels to the Edge” on my local PBS Station. This one happens to be WGBH from Boston at Just click on the program title. If you aren’t served by WGBH then find out your local affiliate and search their specific website for dates and times. I really admire Art Wolfe… he’s the reason I bought a Canon!!

  • Lillie Deffebaugh

    I was so overwhelmed by the Monarch Butterflies migration but was even more taken by the music that was played behind it. Is it possible to find out who the artist(s) is?

  • Steve
  • edwin august

    I found ‘Earth Navigators’ to be one of the most disappointing episodes of Nature I have ever seen. The content might be an appropriate introduction to the topic for a second-grade class, but is sorely lacking for adult viewers.

  • ben sierra

    Why in the hell can’t we find wolfe He gives his web site but unavailable.Are you guys going to help us or what!!!!!!!

  • Lenore Elizabeth

    How do I get more information about Art Wolfe and how do I contact him re his programs? Thank you for your heop.

  • Catherine

    Thank you, PBS viewers, for the information on locating Art Wolfe: Travels to the Edge tv schedules. I have seen a few segments and can’t find a steady listing or schedule – so how can you remind yourself… his work is breathtaking – certainly he’s tops in his field – the segment I recently watched was shot in Manu, Peru – and showcased people and wildlife of the Amazon – the image of the 3 Toed Sloth was by far the best wildlife work I have had the privilege of viewing. A one half hour show per week is quite simply NOT ENOUGH! While searching the web, I found a listing of his show listed by State – according – Masschusetts is on Sundays at noon I believe it said – I want to utilize the pbs local site further and see if there are additional broadcasts. Art Wolfe deserves so much more – and better – than tucked away for a half hour on Sundays

  • Catherine Healey

    When I was looking up schedule info for Art Wolfes’ ‘Travels to the Edge’ tv show, I forgot to mention that I am at least able to view a different breathtaking photo by Art Wolfe daily. On my home page, I have a “gadget” called “Art Wolfe Animal of the Day”. I look forward to this daily – usually the first thing I look for when I turn on my computer. The images are spectacular – I also found the pbs tv schedule for his show – Sunday at noon on ch 2 and Sunday at 2 on ch 16 – my area. I’ll take what I can get at this point – but the daily photo is a must for anyone that enjoys his photography

  • Davies Cook

    So I have just had the sudden urge to cycle around Ireland and Scotland…I don’t need to go everywhere (I am into castles, theatre, basically culture/lifestyle/history) so i am wondering firstly what towns/county’s would be worth visiting? As for cycling, I honestly haven’t ridden a bike for at least 5 years and as a child i scooter-ed more than cycled. Besides maybe half a year the only bikes i’ve been on have been stuck to a floor in a gym. Does this mean it probably isn’t safe to try and travel/explore this way?

  • Mark

    I would also like to ask what Davies asked above. What’s the best places to visit in Scotland?

    Mark from FinderMind magazine.

  • art galleries in us

    I was so overwhelmed by the Monarch Butterflies migration but was even more taken by the music that was played behind it. Is it possible to find out who the artist(s) is?

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  • michael

    who the heck is art wolfe

  • michael

    and what is travel to the edge

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    Od dawna szukałem artykułu na temat Earth Navigators – Introduction – Migration | Nature | PBS . Dzięki

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