|Monarch in excellent condition, one of many found at Cape May Point today.|
In addition to seeing a rise in the census numbers, our team noticed that most monarchs that we found were in excellent condition and had not been tagged. A few days ago I set out to do some tagging, and when 5 of the first 6 monarchs I netted had already been tagged by our team, I realized that we were seeing monarchs that had been hanging around. Even the ones that hadn't been tagged were often quite worn, like the one below. Today we saw lots of new, fresh monarchs that were clearly just arriving into Cape May Point.
Our team took advantage of the influx and we did a lot of tagging. I think we more than doubled the season's total of monarchs tagged just this afternoon. In the shot below, Angela Demarse records data on one of today's monarchs. The tagging process includes more than just affixing a tag to a monarch's wing, we also record date, time, location, gender, wing length, and fat reserves. The whole process usually just takes about a minute.
|Left to right: Lindsey Brendel, Lauren Wanko of NJTV, and Angela Demarse.|