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.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pledge to Fledge

The Monarch Monitoring Project participated in the big "Pledge to Fledge" kickoff event that was held on Thursday, August 23, at Cape May Point State Park.  We tagged about 10 monarchs, a bit earlier than we usually begin our tagging, yet monarchs are already heading south.  There are monarchs of two generations around right now, older ones that are the parents of the migratory generations, and young ones that are already heading to Mexico.  Dozens of park visitors observed the tagging and learned about monarch biology and migration.  And several younger visitors served as launching pads for tagged monarchs, a scene that will be repeated many times in the next two months.

Thanks to Scott Whittle for sharing the following photos, which shows me tagging a monarch and sharing information with some of the visitors at the Pledge to Fledge event.  Scott's an amazing photographer, equally talented with photographing weddings or warblers.  I recommend checking his website:


  1. When is it best to visit Cape May to see the Monarch's and where is the best spot to view them?

  2. It's not completely predictable, but the biggest flights of monarchs typically occur between the 10th of September and the 20th of October. Within that time span there are usually some quiet days and also some fabulous days. Keep watching this blog, we will update it quickly when we start to see big influxes of monarchs into Cape May. Cape May Point is usually the best area -- along the dunes, in the residential areas, and from Cape May Point State Park. I would start your visit by heading up to the hawkwatch platform in the State Park, the naturalists there will know what's going on with monarchs. You might also like to come to one of our tagging demos, held at 2 pm every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from Sept. 14 to Oct. 14, at the covered picnic pavilion adjacent to the hawkwatch platform at the state park.