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, October 18, 2012

The season isn't over yet

Monarchs continue to migrate through southern New Jersey and into Cape May Point, with a slight uptick in numbers Wednesday afternoon, enough for Cape May Hawk Counter Tom Reed to send me a text message: "Little influx of monarchs."  Tom's job is to scan the skies above Cape May Point all day to count migrating birds of prey.  He sees migrating monarchs at the same time, so he's often the first to notice an arrival event.

Prompted by Tom's message, I visited several spots last evening where we have seen monarch concentrations this year.  The best spot was along the dunes at Whilldin Ave., where some were actively feeding on the seaside goldenrod flowers while about 75 clustered high in a pine tree.  Not thousands like we saw a few weeks ago, but still an impressive and inspiring sight.  We don't expect to see another huge influx of monarchs this year, but these little insects surprise us sometimes.  We'll keep watching and counting, and we encourage you to keep watching this blog and to come visit Cape May Point to see monarchs right up to early November.

Don't forget that you can see our census numbers on the data page of our website:

Biologist Julia Druce at the Whilldin Ave. dune crossover.
Monarch taking nectar from seaside goldenrod.

Monarchs clustering in pine tree just before sunset on Oct. 17.

Sunset over Cape May Point.

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