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?

Posted by Mark Garland, 7/25/12.

1 comment:

  1. Mark, I want to take a stab at the Dragonfly, and say it is a yellow-sided skimmer. That's the only one I can think of that has dark wing-tips in the female. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)