The Monarch Monitoring Project is a long-term study on monarch migration through Cape May, NJ. It is a part of the New Jersey Audubon Research Department, and closely affiliated with the Cape May Bird Observatory.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Monarch Census Week 6!

So here we are at the end of another monarch week. (A monarch week for us is Thursday through Wednesday).  It has been an exciting week full of news crews, demos with 150 attendees, census with over 300 monarchs seen and lots and lots of tagging!  MMP Intern Tori is currently our tagging queen with over 700 monarchs tagged!!  This week we also welcomed back Jenny, the 2010 MMP Technician who is visiting for a few days. She has been out and about tagging monarchs with her mom and even helped with today's demo!  But we also said "good bye for now" earlier this week to MMP Founder Dick Walton and long term volunteer Pasty.  We miss them already! COME BACK SOON!!!

The highs of the week have landed with a thud today as a cold, windy, sunless day sent monarchs into hiding.  However as week 6 comes to a close, we see that this has been our BEST WEEK YET this season with 260.97 dpph!!!!  Below is our updated graph of our 2011 census to date.

Our monarch migration may have started later than in years past, but we have had two spectacular waves of monarchs on Cape May Point.  The next couple of days look like rain, but we could be seeing some westerly winds over the weekend. So maybe we'll get another wave of monarchs!?

The last few days have had no substantial roosting either at the State Park or around the Point.  Tonight, however, I did observe 50-80 monarchs roosting in the dunes above the Whilldin and Harvard intersection.  I checked all the other usual spots along Cape Ave, Harvard Ave, Lincoln Ave and the State Park, but found no other roosting monarchs.   I think the nightly temperatures are not cold enough, so the monarchs here do not need to roost in the pines.

Though the monarchs don't feel that it's cold enough to roost, I sure wanted to at the demo today! Despite the cold and blistery winds, today's demo had 25 eager visitors who got to see Mark, Jenny and I tag monarchs! Boy it was cold, so THANK YOU for showing up and listening to us talk and demo!

And last but not least, I'm going to share with you my favorite photo of the week. This was shot at Bill and Edie's garden, a magical place that has been filled with monarchs, skippers, sulphurs, whites, and buckeyes.  This was a lucky shot, and is of an white form orange sulphur female quickly departing the lantana as I lean over to take a picture.
Orange Sulpur, Colias eurytheme

Thanks for all of your support! Don't forget to adopt a monarch, or purchase a monarch magnet for your car to support monarch migration and the Monarch Monitoring Project! These are available in Cape May at the Cape May Bird Observatory!

Ta-Ta for now! And Keep your Eyes on the Skies!

2011 MMP Technician

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