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, September 25, 2014

Monarchs on Rain Delay

Today the monarchs were mimicking what many of us in Cape May were doing, waiting out the wind and rain in safe, dry spots.  Since a monarch weighs only half a gram, they can't really fight through rain and wind.  Monarchs roost in weather like this, which means they find a dry place, like the underside of a branch covered by a canopy of leaves, and wait for better weather.  Today was also overcast, which can also deter butterfly sightings.  Monarchs use the warmth of the sun to heat their bodies and flight muscles.  With the lack of sun, and constant rainy weather, not a single monarch was spotted on the 9am or noon census.

On the bright side, two monarchs are ready to emerge from their chrysalides in the terrarium at the Cape May Bird Observatory Northwood Center.  They will almost certainly emerge within the day.  If you need to see a monarch, CMBO is your best bet.  We expect better conditions for monarchs on Friday and through the weekend, but there's no way to know how many monarchs will arrive into Cape May.  Large flight or small, we'll report back to you here.

Monarch caterpillar in the terrarium at the CMBO Northwood Center.
We still have many caterpillars and chrysalides on display.

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