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, July 25, 2012

Butterfly Count

The field season for our Cape May Monarch Monitoring Project lasts just two months, Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, but for butterfly enthusiasts around Cape May there's a lot to enjoy throughout the warm months.  On July 24 we participated in the "Fourth of July Butterfly Count," a nationwide series of censuses conceived by The Xerces Society.  Compiler Michael O'Brien is still assembling all the data, so we can't announce the results yet, but I can share some highlights from my day.

Wildflowers abound all around Cape May in midsummer.  Below are two examples; Queen Anne's Lace at the Cape Island Creek Preserve, and Crimson-eyed Rose Mallow at the Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge.  Both areas are protected and managed by The Nature Conservancy.

 Here are a few of the butterflies I spotted in my area of the count.
Top to bottom: Summer azure, snout, Zabulon skipper, painted lady,
broad-winged skipper, viceroys (mating), and our good friend the monarch.

Of course it's Cape May, so there were also birds to see ...
... and also dragonflies.  Can you identify them both?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Last chance to apply

We will be conducting interviews and hiring our fall seasonal biologist later this week, so this is the last chance to send in applications.  See early post for information on how to apply.

Good numbers of monarchs are being seen around Cape May right now, parents or grandparents of the butterflies that will be migrating in the autumn.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summary of World Series of Birding effort

I don't think we ever reported back to our loyal blog readers with regard to the fundraising efforts of our team, "Monarchists," in the 2012 World Series of Birding.  Our team won the coveted Cape Island Cup for finding the greatest number of birds just birding Cape Island.  There's a full summary online here:

Thanks to all the hardworking members of the team and, especially, to all who made contributions to support our future research efforts.

Monarchs are being seen around Cape May, still probably 2 generations away from those that we will study in migration this fall.  Our field season begins on September 1.  We hope to see you all at the Point!